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Mission Unstoppable (The Genius Files #1)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  2,891 ratings  ·  319 reviews
In eight days, Coke and Pepsi McDonald are going to turn thirteen.

Before then, they'll jump off a cliff, get trapped in the locked basement of their burning school, chased cross-country by murderous lunatics, left for dead in the pit of a sand dune, forced to decipher mysterious coded messages, thrown into a giant vat of SPAM, and visit the world's largest . . . ball of tw
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Condescending author writing about pretentious "genius" kids (who really show no signs of "geniusness" the entire book) who were recruited to be anti-terrorism agents. They travel across the country with their parents with constant reminders that kids are brilliant and adults are idiots on their way to a wedding. At each stop the boy twin spouts his knowledge of the place they're at (because having a photographic memory apparently makes you a genius and of course he's seen something about EVERY ...more
Robert Kent
I want to share with you the first page as it's just a bang-up opening and you know how much I love great openings that hook the reader from the start. Especially when they are followed up with an exciting and engaging novel that is very funny. Read the next paragraph and just try not to get hooked (Go ahead. I'll wait):

There were ten items on Coke McDonald’s to-do list on June 17, but JUMP OFF A CLIFF was not one of them.
CLEAN OUT MY LOCKER was on the list.
PICK UP MY YEARBOOk was on the list.
This book is one of my favorite books of all time it is a thrilling book with some mysteries in it. If you like thrilling and mystery book's I advice you to read it.

The book "The Genius Files, Mission unstoppable" is about 2 kids ,Coke and Pepsi or pep for short are in, after school detention on the last day of school. At this point they are unaware that the school has been set on fire and the room they are in is locked so they can't get out. At this time they have been selected to be in a top s
This book is probably one of the greatest books i have ever read in my life. This book is surprisingly, really good for many different reasons. One thing i liked about it is that it explained and talked about numerous facts that are mind-blowing and are just simply amazing. It ranged from being completely weird, to being simply marvelous and really great facts. Another reason is that it builds suspense for the person that's reading the book. This book gives the reader different predictions on wh ...more
Man, I love me some Dan Gutman. He writes so many different types of books I like (Weird School, Baseball Card Adventures) and this is another hit. About twins Coke and Pepsi (yup), who are traveling cross country with their folks via motorhome. While their parents think it's just a normal family road trip to places such as the Pez Museum and the world's largest ball of twine, the kids are really dealing with bad guys and assassins. This would be a great book to do as a read aloud teaching about ...more
Mar 08, 2013 Brenda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Brenda by: Read together
Shelves: fiction
As soon as school lets out for the summer, twelve year old twins Coke and Pepsi are going on a cross country RV trip with their parents from San Fransisco to Washington D.C. for their Aunts wedding. Little do they know there is a lot in store for them before they will even arrive at their destination. For instance, by walking home from school rather than taking the school bus they end up having this guy wearing a bowler hat follow them in a golf cart. Trying to escape, Coke and Pepsi race to the ...more
Kathleen Behrendt
This first book sets the stage in the Genius Files series. Twins Coke and Pepsi have been selected to be in the Genius Files beacuse of their intelligence and their being twins. The book starts out with someone trying to kill the twins and the cross-country trip they are taking with their parents. Since their mother writes the "Amazing But True" web-based magazine devoted to odd facts and useless information, they will be visiting many off-beat locations and tourist traps. The action builds with ...more
Ms Threlkeld
I really enjoyed the crazy adventure twins Coke and Pepsi went on and all the interesting and weird facts I learned about places in America, but the ending didn't feel authentic to me. The villain's reason for going after the kids didn't make a whole lot of sense. If you can get past that, you'll enjoy the ride. Looking forward to reading the 2nd book in the series and raffling this off to one of my students.
Very enjoyable book to read to your kids. Action packed, funny, and introduces unique places in America ( most if which I will never visit but their oddness is intriguing!)
Ugh. This book is like The 39 Clues without a brain (and I can't really put it even close to the same category as The 39 Clues). The story was hard to believe and never seemed to really explain itself. The kids jumped from one perilous situation to another (and never learned to stop going into situations with a stranger and without their parents). I read this with my 10 year old and he liked it a little bit so we started reading the 2nd book, but it was more of the same so neither of us wanted t ...more
Predictable, corny, unlifelike, and boring.

Who wants to read about a road trip?

I acknowledge this book is for younger readers, but the mix of near-death situations and mature concepts aren't right for kids. Also, the plot is way too straightforward (Let's go here! Now let's go there! Now...). The main characters are dimensionless and so are the villains. Also some pretty basic things are left out or just glossed over.

EX: "We almost died? Well, who cares? Let's just not say anything. Mom and Dad
Title: The Genius Files-Mission Unstoppable
Author: Dan Gutman
Story Elements
Setting: This story takes place in America and the time is all day long.

List the Main Characters and their traits.
The main characters are Coke and Pepsi and he/she is 12 years old but then turn 13 because they are twins. They are the spy’s who work in a secret organization they are not the only ones there are others.
Another character is Mr. Benjamin McDonald and he is the father of Coke and Pepsi and does not know abou
I can see why these books are so popular with my library patrons. Dan Gutman is such a prolific writer for kids and he never seems to run out of great stories! How does he do it? Who cares! As long as the hits keep on coming! :)

So based on how popular The Genius Files are with my patrons, I decided to pick up the first in the series. Gutman wastes no time getting to the excitement and fun. Really. He won't even describe the characters' appearance and instead tells the reader to go look at the co
Jayce Senter
Originally posted here at In the Senter of it All

Genre: Adventure
AR level: 4.8
Grade appropriate: 3rd and up

Overall: 2/5-- Honestly, I wanted to like this one a lot more than I did. It was really silly so that will be a plus for a lot of kids.

Creativity: 3/5-- A man creates a list of genius children to help him run the country after 9/11. They are being hunted down throughout the story.

Characters: 1/5-- Eh...

Engrossing: 2/5-- Not so much.

Writing: 2/5-- see my notes on appeal
Who said that you have to have superpowers to be a hero? Twins Coke and Pepsi are going to have a very normal summer.... NOPE NOT REALLY. On the second to last day to school, they get chased down by people in tuxedos in golf carts. On the last day of school, they are in the middle on their school, when it's on fire! They also almost got caught in an explosion that was meant for them. What does this mean? Why are they getting targeted? Who is targeting them? Read the book to find out.

Mission Unst
Out of things to read and wanting something available right away, I stumbled across this book.
Coke and Pepsi McDonald are twins living in CA who have lived a relatively unremarkable life...until they're forced to jump off a cliff, and the school burns down, and the chaos does not seem to be ending any time soon. The twins find out they've been chosen for a special government program for gifted children, and they're given the choice to join or not. Unfortunately, it's not much of a choice. The tw
Dan Gutman has the craziest, zaniest brain! Genius Files is like Austin Powers for kids. Ridiculous, but totally fun! The main characters, twins Coke & Pepsi McDonald (yes, real names), get sucked into a cross-country RV trip with their parents while at the same time they get sucked into a mysterious plot to defend the largest ball of twine against an attack. Why? In Dan Gutman's world, why not?! They spend the trip visiting the weirdest places in the U.S. while evading dangerous men in bowl ...more
Dan Gutman has the craziest, zaniest brain! Genius Files is like Austin Powers for kids. Ridiculous, but totally fun! The main characters, twins Coke & Pepsi McDonald (yes, real names), get sucked into a cross-country RV trip with their parents while at the same time they get sucked into a mysterious plot to defend the largest ball of twine against an attack. Why? In Dan Gutman's world, why not?! They spend the trip visiting the weirdest places in the U.S. while evading dangerous men in bowl ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I think mystery adventure fans in elementary may enjoy this, but I just thought it was okay. I was often frustrated with the description in the middle of an action scene. I felt like saying, "skip to the good part." Perhaps that was partly because I was listening. When that happens and I am holding a book, I can simply skim to the part I am more interested in.

I was also bothered a couple of times by gender things. There is a comment in the beginning about boys lacking emotions and then the narr
Twin 12-year-olds Coke and Pepsi McDonald, on a cross-county vacation with their professor father and writer mother, uncover a secret government plot to use “YAGs,” or Young American Geniuses, to solve the complex problems of the nation, and find that they are on the list. When they learn that a shadowy group is preparing a terrorist attack at (one of) the country’s biggest ball(s) of twine, their road trip becomes a race against time, made all the more desperate by the fact that their parents k ...more
Sometimes being really smart isn't necessarily a good thing, especially if you have been secretly recruited by a top secret agency that wants to use the smartest kids to solve the nation's problems. Doesn't sound too bad does it? Um, hello? Did you not just read the synopsis above? Coke and Pep have been instructed to keep all of this a secret from their parents. Their parents have decided to take an RV trip across the country and maybe stop at some really "Amazing But True" attractions. Want to ...more
Recommended by a coworker's son. Cute premise, engaging, funny. Classic Dan Gutman appeal -- a few gross out moments, parents are rather dim and out of touch, kids are smarter than all grown ups. And of course, it will be a series. I predict this will be popular.
Jacob Spradling
The Genius Files series was definitely my favorite books when I was younger. The whole reason I started reading so many Dan Gutman books was because of this series. If I was still that age, this book would be 5 stars in a blink of an eye. Now, I can not read these books anymore. In every single book there is always a pattern; the family goes on a road trip, evil agents and teachers try to eliminate them by putting them in some very detailed meaningless traps, (when they even have weapons) nobod ...more
The Genius Files by Dan Gutman is the first book in a series about twins named Coke and Pepsi.The twins are chosen to be part of a program called the genius files which trains and uses kids to save the U.S. The twins travel across the country chased by their crazed health teacher. They are helped by two agents that work for T.G.F. ( the genius files).
This novel reminds me of an Alex Rider book for younger kids. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Dan Gutman’s writing. I was not th
This book felt condescending to children, the plot and characters were unbelievable, and the author made the girl protagonist out to be pathetic compared to her brother.
This book is a little bit gimicky, and the author definitely channeled some inspiration from the 39 Clues books. In this series, though, all of the action takes place in the U.S., following one family in their trip across the continental 48, racing against unknown forces who are trying to kill the soon-to-be-13-year-old twins. I can see why this would appeal to younger readers: the story contains action, little-known-facts and silly attempts at humour. I found the plot to be just a little too ri ...more
Dawn Teresa
Originally published on my blog, ReadLove

When Coke and Pepsi — twin siblings, not the popular fizzy drinks — decide to walk home instead of taking the bus, next thing they know they’re trailed by suspicious men on golf carts and aided by a stranger who helps them execute a cliff-jumping escape! This is only the beginning of a hair-raising summer that sees the twins’ lives repeatedly put at risk.

Coke and Pepsi are intelligent and wisecracking. But their parents are more than a little kooky. Mor
I've given Mission Unstoppable one extra star, because I believe that were I eight years old I would likely enjoy this book. However, I read a large number of middle grade books, and this book is almost at the very bottom of my list. The plot felt forced and unnecessarily full of "fun" facts. I was not interested in or invested in Coke and Pep's lives, and the villains were not intimidating. Worst of all is my belief that the terrorist plot and the motivation for the primary "bad guy" were both ...more
Coke and Pepsi McDonald are fighting for their lives. All of a sudden, as the school year ends, men in bowler hats are trying to kill them. As their family heads across the country on a road trip, the bad guys follow. At each tourist attraction they see, something else happens. Who is leaving them notes in code? Why is someone trying to kill them (they are only middle schoolers, after all)? And which ball of twine is actually the world's biggest? Although Coke and Pepsi are fictional characters, ...more
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The author of over 80 books in a little over a decade of writing, Dan Gutman has written on topics from computers to baseball. Beginning his freelance career as a nonfiction author dealing mostly with sports for adults and young readers, Gutman has concentrated on juvenile fiction since 1995. His most popular titles include the time-travel sports book Honus and Me and its sequels, and a clutch of ...more
More about Dan Gutman...

Other Books in the Series

The Genius Files (5 books)
  • Never Say Genius
  • You Only Die Twice
  • From Texas with Love (The Genius Files #4)
  • License to Thrill (The Genius Files, #5)
The Homework Machine (The Homework Machine #1) Miss Daisy Is Crazy! (My Weird School, #1) Babe & Me (A Baseball Card Adventure #3) Mr. Klutz Is Nuts! (My Weird School, #2) Jackie & Me (A Baseball Card Adventure #2)

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