At the Bottom of the World

Bill Nye and Gregory Mone, illus. by Nick Iluzada. Amulet, $13.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2303-2
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.)
Reviewed on: 02/20/2017
Release date: 04/01/2017
Genre: Children's
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