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Mission Unstoppable

(The Genius Files #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  6,231 ratings  ·  574 reviews
The most exciting road trip in history begins! In this action-packed, New York Times bestselling adventure, twelve-year-old twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald embark on a family vacation you'll have to read to believe.

With the real-kid humor that has earned Dan Gutman millions of fans around the world, and featuring weird-but-true American tourist destinations, The Genius Files
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2011)
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Popular Answered Questions
ac_dagoat cuz the author probably writes for little kids and is very unrealistic even though he is writing action and adventure.
Ryan they are attacked like everywhere they go
they are attacked like everywhere they go

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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,231 ratings  ·  574 reviews

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Apr 16, 2015 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
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. 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 to finish it.
Robert Kent
Jul 23, 2011 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.
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it

This book was one of the most nostalgic books of my childhood! Want to find out the other nostalgic books? Check out my latest Booktube video

Happy reading!

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A.L. Sowards
Read this out loud to my seven-year-old twins. One of them liked it. One of them didn’t. I wasn’t a huge fan. The writing style included lots of narrator intrusion, which isn’t really my thing, and I had a hard time buying the premise that the US government had given up on adults solving the world’s problems, so had instead turned to the children. (But maybe I only think that because I’m an adult.) On the plus side, I think the titles for this series are brilliant. But one book of the Genius Fil ...more
Apr 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
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.
Mar 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: boring, dull, spies, 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
Sep 18, 2013 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
Christine (KizzieReads)
My son liked it. He got engaged with characters and he thought most parts were funny. I had some issues with it, but my son enjoyed it, so that's what matters.
Jenni Heins
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: junior-fiction
Fun to include mid-western landmarks from Minnesota and Wisconsin...I usually only read a first book in a series especially when junior fiction. But I may have to read all to see how the story ends!
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought Dr Warsaw was a good guy when I read the end I was so wrong! the book was AWESOME!!!!!!
Jan 22, 2015 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
Apr 11, 2015 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
Sep 17, 2015 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.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: older children and parents reading with them
This is the first book in The Genius Files series by Dan Gutman. Our girls and I read many of his books from the My Weird School series and I was excited to see this book, written for slightly older children.

The story starts out in similar ways from his previous works, with some conversation between the narrator and the reader, breaking the fourth wall. The narrative is filled with humorous word play as well as the juxtapositions of the drama of being in mortal danger and the silliness of the od
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hailey Lau
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is all about adventure and it is really exciting. After I read the first 10 pages, I was really interested in finding out more about what is going to happen and how they are going to escape. If you like adventure book, this book is for you.
Kate Feldman
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
My son and I have listened to these audio books so many times I got quite sick of them. But when he finally agreed to try other things, I became acutely aware that the Genius Files were actually awesomely fun, hilarious, suspenseful, and very well written. Much more enjoyable for me, the mom, than a lot of books that appeal to my 11-yo son. And the audio versions are great.
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book with some kids in my daughters 5th grade class and we all enjoyed it.
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fast paced and fun
Elijah VanZee
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
It's fine so far.
Mar 03, 2013 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
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My kid's book group chose this as one of our books to read this month. It was also one of the books for OBOB (Oregon Battle of the Books) grades 3-5 this year. It was definitely a quick read and somewhat entertaining, but fell short for me for a number of reasons. I realize I'm looking at this book with adult eyes and with an adult brain, and that kids aren't going to find faults where I find them. If they can relate to the kids who are the main characters and find them funny and likable, and th ...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 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
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 20, 2014 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
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
May 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook-reads
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
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.
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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

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)

News & Interviews

    Pulitzer Prize–winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani, the former chief book critic of The New York Times, is the author of the newly...
55 likes · 16 comments
“Coke had a theory to explain grown-ups, as he did for most things in life. In his view, babies are born with a specific number of brain cells, which waste away and die off as people get older. So by the time they reach thirty—and certainly by the time they reach forty—most of their brain cells are gone. This explains why grown-ups do and say the things they do.” 0 likes
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