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Mission Unstoppable (The Genius Files #1)

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,520 Ratings  ·  361 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

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 21, 2015 Courtney rated it did not like it
Shelves: obob
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
Jul 23, 2011 Robert Kent rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 20, 2013 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 17, 2015 Anna added it
Shelves: grant
My 4th grader read this because a friend suggested books by the author. He read it in a day and said it was good. That's as much of a review as I could get out of him.
Oct 11, 2015 Nate rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, obob-2016
I started this with my son a few months ago, and once we hit the half-way point he took off on his own and left me the in the dust. That's a testament to what a fun read The Genius Files is. Perfect for 9-12 and maybe even older. I love the emphasis this book places on Americana as the family embarks on a non-traditional trip across the country. And the interactive aspects of encouraging the reader to look things up online is really cool too. Awesome cloak and dagger happenings as well make this ...more
Mar 16, 2015 Sheri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 22, 2015 Joshua rated it it was amazing
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
This OBOB2016 title was the hateful one for the year. Coke and Pepsi McDonald discover that they're VERY IMPORTANT children who will help to save the U.S. if only they can survive the multiple attempts made on their lives this summer. A couple reasons I hated it: 1)It was sexist. Pep is always crying and being intuitive about stuff while her genius brother Coke does super-active things to save them. 2) it treats the majority of the adults, especially their parents, as idiots. 3) The end makes no ...more
Dec 22, 2014 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fourth-grade
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
Jul 24, 2015 Ruby rated it it was ok
Shelves: spies, dull, boring, sciencey
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
Mar 08, 2013 Brenda rated it really liked it
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
Jayce Senter
Sep 22, 2014 Jayce Senter rated it it was ok
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
Jun 04, 2014 Zach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Genius Files reminds me a lot of The 39 Clues--brother and sister (twins in this one) find themselves part of a mysterious group of people trying to save the world, finding clues and danger along the way. This one doesn't have the historical interest, but instead has lots of fun, but useless, information--I know more about Pez dispensers, SPAM, and giant balls of twine than I will ever need. :) This one has a little more humor than The 39 Clues, and is great for students looking for adventure, m ...more
Apr 05, 2014 Mickie rated it really liked it
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!)
I like Gutman and I wanted to give this book a chance. I know that he can write some silly stuff but I wasn't prepared for this one. It starts with twins Coke and Pepsi being chased and leaping off a cliff after they just happen to receive jumpsuits. Now I love a good adventure as much as the next person but this was so cheesy that I couldn't enjoy it. It seemed like every cliche was here and I found that I didn't care if the kids were successful or not. I had to put it down. If you are in for a ...more
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
Elissa Schaeffer
Aug 11, 2014 Elissa Schaeffer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 30, 2014 Christian rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 08, 2014 Caitlin rated it liked it
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
Marcia Conner
May 05, 2013 Marcia Conner rated it really liked it
My son and I loved this book with it's interesting ciphers and hilarious "Amazing and True" stops along a family trip across the US. Reminded me of some of the nutty places my parents took us as kids... well, without fear of being chased by super bad guys. Even the twins seemingly soda-pop names aren't as they seem. A fast, fun, silly, brain-stretching read.
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
Jan 18, 2014 Ensiform rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, kidfic
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
Jun 02, 2014 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 01, 2011 Marisa rated it liked it
Shelves: boybooks, j-fiction
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.
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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 (The Genius Files #2)
  • You Only Die Twice (The Genius Files #3)
  • From Texas with Love (The Genius Files #4)
  • License to Thrill (The Genius Files, #5)

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