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At the Bottom of the World

(Jack and the Geniuses #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  593 ratings  ·  130 reviews
New York Times bestselling authors Bill Nye the Science Guy and Gregory Mone take middle-grade readers on a scientific adventure in the launch of an exciting new chapter book series, Jack and the Geniuses. The perfect combination to engage and entertain readers, the series features real-world science along with action and a mystery that will leave kids guessing until the e ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 4th 2017 by Amulet Books
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Sierra Ruby i think so but i am not sure but it would be cool
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Sierra Ruby that was my same qusetion
also come and cheack sierras book talk

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3.98  · 
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 ·  593 ratings  ·  130 reviews

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Jack, Matt, and Ava are all foster kids who have been granted the right to live on their own. That may sound odd, but everyone assumes that geniuses are smart enough to take care of themselves. Only Matt and Ava are really geniuses; Jack is just an ordinary kid who likes to read. When the three foster siblings come to the attention of scientist Hank Witherspoon, things get very interesting. Soon they're accompanying him to Antarctica to help out with a contest for a new invention. But when they ...more
Very much what I expected from Bill Nye, the Science Guy. Smart kids get a fantastic opportunity to work as assistants to a world famous inventor who is rich enough to allow them to invent & travel to an exotic location where they have to solve a mystery. As the afterword assures us, all the inventions & the basics of the Antarctic station are true or at least could be or will be soon, so there is plenty to learn, even for adults not familiar with the area.

There was a lot he didn't say,
Bookgasms Book Blog
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My 12 year old son and I read books together. I am a voracious reader and am determined to instill this quality in my children. After several books falling flat lately, we picked this one up with nervous anticipation. On my part because I grew up with Bill Nye the Science Guy, and for my son he was just tired of trying to read boring books. His words, not mine. Oh but we were not disappointed!

The characters were so fun that it was easy to spark discussions on each one, and how they differed yet
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I was fortunate to win this book in a Goodreads Giveaway! To start, I'd like to mention that I really enjoyed this book and could have gobbled it up in one sitting if I had had the time to do so. I intend to use this copy as a Summer Learning Program prize at my library now.

I was skeptical when I saw that this book is written by Bill Nye the Science Guy because I was not sure if he would be able to write a story as well as he explains science to kids. However, I was blown away! The characters ar
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
At the Bottom of the World is the start in a new series co-authored by Bill Nye (yes... The Science Guy) and Gregory Mone (a talented author). What does this literary combination give us? A sometimes wacky approach to giving kids what the want (a thrilling adventure) while secretly supplying them with what they need (say, an education in science?!).

Let's get on to the plot. The 3 main kids are super independent (somehow they legally accomplished this task?!). They don't even go to school -- the
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was goofy and some part were predictable, but looking at it through the eyes of a kid? This book was exciting and interesting and there were a lot of fun science facts, especially about Antarctica. Would read again and would recommend for kids and preteens.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way.... I want to say I love it on its own. And I do, the voice is great, the story is fun, the science is interesting, nobody is completely obnoxious. Also, Antarctica! I hadn't realized how starved I was for young reader books about Antarctica.

I enjoy how Jack, Ava, and Matt all have their own strengths without being caricatures. They aren't blind to each others strengths, and work as a team from the beginning. Jack isn't discounted just
Lauren Stevens
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Note to readers: Hello! I would like to take a quick opportunity to add some context to my post. I am posting this review as a requirement of a class at the iSchool at Syracuse University. For this project, I am producing several book talks that are designed for a hypothetical scenario where I am trying to get middle schoolers to read literature that inspires them to participate in methods of "green" activism. Again hypothetically, l would like to rally these students to start a "Green Domino Ef ...more
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, kiddies
I think this was a good story for kids to read. I was trying to think about the different ages of kids I've worked with over the years, and I could definitely see some of them being really excited about this. It has adventure, science, a mystery (although I kind of felt like the mystery was an unnecessary plot line, but I could be wrong), smart kids, and the ugly-duckling kid who's not as smart as his siblings but who finds he has worth, too -- basically, there's something for everybody. Plus, n ...more
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jack refers to his two foster siblings as "the geniuses." The three of them ended up in the same foster home several years back and by working together were able to declare themselves emancipated minors, even though Jack and Ava are just 12 and Matt is 15. Through several fortunate coincidences, they discover that eccentric inventor Henry (Hank) Witherspoon is living nearby, and are ecstatic when he takes them all on as apprentices. When he asks them to join him on a trip to Antarctica to judge ...more
I had planned on giving this book 3 - 3.5 stars; however, after Bill Nye's f*cking stellar performance on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver that attempted to warn everyone about the seriousness of climate change and global warming this past Sunday, I have decided to bump it up to 4 stars. I read this to my 11-year-old. I would say this is more of an independent read, but he wasn't interested in reading this one independently, and I wanted to get it off his shelf to make room for new reads. In t ...more
Mrs. Schuld
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Liked the overall idea of this book, and loved how kids used science in this book. It’s encouraging to kids to be curious. I thought having so many supporting characters was kind of confusing. If they needed to have that many, I wish they would have added more descriptions or illustrations for these characters. Speaking of illustrations, I liked that they included them, but I don’t think they used them to enhance the story. There were some confusing parts to this book that could have been better ...more
Julie Kirchner
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book as I used to teach world cultures and we did a week about Antarctica. It brought me back to those lessons.

I read an ARC of this book that was shared with my #BookVoyage group. This books is a fun mix of mystery and science that will be a hit with many of my kids. They are always looking for good mysteries. Lots of adventure as well and the back matter that has information about Antarctica and science in general was helpful.
C.J. Milbrandt
Jack and his two genius siblings, Matt and Ava, have a new mentor. Hank (a contender for the prestigious Clutterbuck Prize) can offer sufficient challenge for the genius set, providing them with an "alternative education" in the most practical of ways. A trip. To a very science-y locale. Namely ... Antarctica.

Lots of humor and information, which makes the fact that this is as sneakily educational as all of Bill Nye's "Science Guy" programs. Fun with purpose. Not a bad thing.
Barb Middleton
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure, mystery
A nice mixture of mystery and science. Good plot... a bit short on character development. An entertaining book that is along the same vein as the Frank Einstein series but harder to read. This is one of our Global Reading Challenge books (a battle of the books-type program put on by the King County Library in Seattle WA).
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a fun read that incorporates mystery and kid jokes and scientific facts! Both Reese and I enjoyed it—another read for our MoDa (Mother-Daughter) Book Club.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this! Emancipated 12 year olds is not believable but look past it because the rest of the story is so fun. A funny mystery with a science base. Great science info, including an experiment, in the back matter.

I received a copy of this on NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Ms. Yingling
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Copy provided by the publisher at ALA (Also on Edelweiss)

Jack isn't as scientifically talented at his "siblings" Matt and Ava, but he has his moments. When the kids' drone gets stuck on the balcony of a weirdly imposing building, he manages to find a way in, and the children all get to meet Hank Witherspoon, a wealthy inventor. Because all three children had been in foster care but then published a book of sappy poetry that made a lot of money, they are living on their own and even homeschooling
Stuart Chandler
I struggle to give this a 3 or 4...but I did find it interesting and applaud Bill Nye's first attempt to bring true science into youth novels. For some reason, I felt that the writing of the book began to develop in its skill as it reached the final third. The first two-thirds of the book felt a bit forced at times. It's as if the style used to write the story gained momentum and the authors began to acknowledge the difficulties in writing this type of book. One challenge that I noticed was dial ...more
Echo C
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
Ehh, not too bad. Fun but totally unbelievable story of 3 independently, well-off emancipated minors who discover their neighbor is a tech genius who enlists their help with a trip to Antarctica. Still with me? The kids embark on a mission to find a missing scientist deep in the snow covered landscape.

If you can suspend all logic and knowledge of the real world, you'd probably enjoy this. It's perfect for kids: silly, unreal, and completely harmless. It's the first in a series so I'm sure this
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was okay. The characters were interesting and the plot interesting, but it felt too much like a grown up plot, with most characters being adults and the problems dealing with adults. I liked the humor of Jack, but I felt like he was the only thing that made the book a MG book, and that wasn't enough for me. My 8 year old did enjoy it, but he didn't rave about it.
Nannette Demmler
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I will admit that I picked this book up because of Bill Nye. I often avoid books by celebrities, just because you are famous doesn’t mean you can write, but I have a soft spot for Bill and I love science so I had to give it a try. I am also always on the look out for something that will appeal to those students who only like to read non-fiction. Often they have to read something fiction for a school assignment and it can get tough to find something that they will like. I also liked that there wa ...more
Roger Flores-Chacon
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I chose the book because I liked science. It was very interesting, but I never knew that the characters were orphans passed down through many foster homes. The story was about 3 kids, Jack, his brother, and his sister, venturing to a laboratory that was owned by a famous fictional scientist. He adopts the children and takes them to a trip to Antarctica for a scientist convention. They find an undiscovered animal that can process salt water. Then, the animal is stolen, but they have lots of suspe ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recently, a couple of my most discerning readers highly recommended Jack and the Geniuses. Not a big science fiction fan, I took my time picking it up, but I'm glad I did! In this exciting science fiction action adventure story, Jack and his two genius siblings Matt and Ava (not siblings by birth) all end up in the same foster family. Ava likes science especially inventing robots, and Matt is gifted in math and astronomy. Jack is a focused normal 12 year old who keeps things running smoothly. Wh ...more
Elaine Griffin

Bill Nye and Gregory Mone's partnership has produced a splendid little story that will take readers on an Antarctic adventure while introducing them to a love of science. The story uses real-life science (no sci-fi tropes are relied upon to make this story move), and the characters use their brains to solve their problems.

Considering the premise, I wasn't expecting the story and characters to be as vivid as they were. I expected a more play-by-play, how-to science experiment with stor
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: older elementary school-age children
Pretty much everyone knows who Bill Nye the Science Guy is. He has been on television for more than 25 years and is known for getting kids excited about science. What I didn't know is that he also writes books.

This is the first book in the Jack and the Geniuses series, cowritten with Gregory Mone.

It's an entertaining story of three emancipated young teens who discover an eccentric inventor who has too much money and not enough time or help.

The intrepid team goes to the McMurdo Station on Antar
Joseph Sanchez
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I know that this is a book for children around 5th grade, but I was still disappointed with the lack of character description. There was plenty of dialogue to make inferences, yet I still didn't get a feeling for each of the main characters' personalities. It all seemed muddled. Perhaps there were too many main characters, and the author wants to develop them through a longer series, but it did not work so well for me. The story is okay, but did not generate any excitement for me. The good guys ...more
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review copy provided by NetGalley

I have to say, when I saw the name of a celebrity attached to this book, I was filled with anticipation and a degree of dread. This one lived up to the anticipation, and the dread turned out to be unnecessary. The characters were as well constructed as anything else in the genre and the plot was well-structured and character-driven. This is one of those series that readers will simply love. Told from the point of view of the most unscientific of three siblings li
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an entirely improbably story about scientifically gifted children who end up in Antarctica on an exciting mission. Jack and his foster siblings Ava and Matt are legally responsible for themselves. Ava and Matt are scientific geniuses but Jack has his own strengths as well. They come to the attention of inventor and entrepreneur Henry (Hank) Witherspoon who realises the children’s great abilities. When given the opportunity to go to Antarctica with Hank to judge a desalination project the ...more
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am generally leery of books written by celebrities, especially if they have a vested interest in history or science. My experience has been that these people take the approach of, I want to write a book about this academic subject for kids, so I'll form some kind of story around it, and kids will like it! I am of the opinion that fiction should be entertainment, driven by character and plot; if you learn something along the way, it should be a side benefit. Writers who want to teach should wri ...more
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William Sanford "Bill" Nye, popularly known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, is an American science educator, comedian, television presenter, actor, writer, scientist, and former mechanical engineer, best known in popular media as a science educator.

Other books in the series

Jack and the Geniuses (3 books)
  • In the Deep Blue Sea (Jack and the Geniuses, #2)
  • Lost in the Jungle: Jack and the Geniuses Book #3