At the Bottom of the World
At the Bottom of the World

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Series: Jack and the Geniuses Vol. 1   

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Annotation: Traveling to Antarctica for a prestigious science competition, twelve-year-old Jack and his genius foster siblings, Ava and Matt, become caught up in a mystery involving a missing scientist.
Catalog Number: #160298
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Iluzada, Nicholas,
Pages: 247 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-419-73288-9 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1149-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-419-73288-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1149-4
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016047915
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
With a veteran cowriter's help, the Science Guy ventures into fiction with an adventure replete with both cool gadgets and working scientists of both sexes. Three foster siblings -year-old brainiac Matt, 12-year-old gifted (and "coffee" colored) gearhead Ava, and Jack, the narrator as well as instigator and born sleuth of the trio, also 12 et Henry Witherspoon, the fabulously wealthy inventor of, among many other useful items, a portable nose vacuum. This series opener finds Henry, who is also the sole judge of a million-dollar science competition, and his new accomplices flying to Antarctica, where a contestant has vanished after hinting at a stunning biological discovery. The ensuing investigation mixes enticing depictions of life and research at remote McMurdo Station with hidden clues, multiple suspects, a gun-wielding culprit, and a climactic ride into a vicious storm, inside an untested inflatable vehicle. The cast and plotline are strong enough to bear the informational load, and two appendices fill in details about Antarctica and some of the episode's techno wizardry. For inveterate geeks, there's even a relevant science project!HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Bill Nye the Science Guy is always a fan favorite, and this best-selling duo will have no problem finding an audience for their sleuthing scientist heroes.
Horn Book
Billionaire scientist Hank Witherspoon recruits three foster siblings (two with off-the-chart IQs and one with street smarts) to help him with his experiments and inventions. When the team heads to the McMurdo Station research center in Antarctica to investigate a scientist's claims of an important discovery, they find that she has disappeared. A fast-paced mystery ensues, with scientific information woven into the plot.
Kirkus Reviews
Nye, "the Science Guy," collaborates with Mone and illustrator Iluzada to launch a new fictional series featuring three kids; two of them are geniuses—the third, Jack, is just reasonably clever.Still, it's useful to be clever when you're a 12-year-old immersed in an exciting mystery and pitted against a nasty bad guy. The young geniuses are Ava, 12, with "skin the color of coffee," and olive-skinned Matt, 15, white Jack's foster siblings. The three live on their own until wealthy, white inventor Hank takes them under his wing. This results in a science-infused trip to Antarctica, where a scientist friend of his has disappeared under suspicious circumstances. The setting is vividly depicted and a useful location for displaying new technology in an engaging manner, even slipping in some information on topics such as the world's need for more sources of fresh drinking water and climate change. The teens use technology, deductive skills, and a good dose of intrepid bravery to bring about a happy ending, all related in Jack's wry, believable first-person voice. Backmatter explains some of the innovative technology and provides further information on Antarctica. Fast-paced enough to engage even reluctant readers, informative without being didactic, and entertaining: a solid series start. (Adventure. 9-14)
Publishers Weekly
This first book in the Jack and the Geniuses series from science educator/TV personality Nye and coauthor Mone introduces 12-year-old Jack and his genius foster siblings, Ava and Matt, resourceful emancipated minors. Soon after they accept positions as assistants to Henry -Hank- Witherspoon, an eccentric scientist and inventor, they are off to Antarctica to help judge an award for innovative desalination techniques. Upon arriving at McMurdo Station, they learn that Hank-s friend Anna Donatelli has gone missing. Determined to solve the mystery, the siblings use their science smarts (and, in Jack-s case, charm and intuition) to figure out who might have wished her harm. All of the inventions used and discussed are based in reality-endnotes offer additional information on self-driving cars, robotic exoskeletons, and other technologies-and the Antarctic setting is well researched and fully realized. Readers will appreciate Jack-s humor and candor, and will quickly recognize that, although he may not be an official -genius,- intelligence takes many forms. This fast-paced, science-themed mystery is a strong first outing, sure to leave readers awaiting this team-s next adventure. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)

Word Count: 49,500
Reading Level: 4.7
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.7 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 189296 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.2 / points:11.0 / quiz:Q71012
Lexile: 680L
Guided Reading Level: X
Fountas & Pinnell: X

Twelve-year-old Jack and his genius foster siblings, Ava and Matt, join Dr. Hank Witherspoon, one of the world's leading scientists, in his incredible laboratory. Soon, Hank and the kids travel to Antarctica for a prestigious science competition, but they find that all is not as it seems. Illustrations.

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