GENIUS GUTMAN (as in Dan)
No Video Review this week. Stanley and I are on a short “hiatus”. After all those hours in the studio, and getting inspired by our last CHAT (Sauer’s “Mr. Duck” had us stopping to smell our own roses), we shut down the set and decided we needed a little ‘get-away’. So here we are enjoying some R&R, away from the east coast cold and soaking up some sun. Grabbing those rays while catching up on our beach reading.
We are both enjoying Dan Gutman‘s newest — THE GENIUS FILES. We love this guy, (and not just because he’s a Jersey Boy). Gutman never fails to entertain, whether it’s with his string of ‘MILLION DOLLAR‘ sports novels, his iconic BASEBALL CARD ADVENTURES, or those funny WEIRD SCHOOL shenanigans. (That ‘A.J.’ cracks us up. As do Jim Paillot‘s illustrations. Young readers agree. They can’t get enough of them.)
This new novel does not disappoint. As PW said, “Gutman continues to do what he does best.” We love the set-up with twins Coke and Pepsi setting off on one of those ho-hum family ‘road trips’, (you know those kind), only to find themselves deep into deciphering codes and chased cross-country by a group of nefarious (Stanley’s word choice) unknown bowler-hat villains. It’s non-stop action — and laughs — as only Gutman can do — and does. We concur with Booklist: THE GENIUS FILES is “fun and suspenseful.” Stanley and I cannot wait for the next installment in this potential series. We are particularly thumbs up on the quirky educational ‘side-trips’ to places like the Yo-Yo Museum and getting a look at that Largest Ball of Twine. (We hope some cheese is in these kids’ future too.) And as the geography-history-loving rats that we are, we were highly entertained by Gutman’s invitations to his readers to search out info using Google Maps. The man is clever, that’s all there is to it.
Also on our ‘under the beach umbrella list’ is David Lubar‘s funny ENTER THE ZOMBIE, now released in paperback. And to get into a baseball spring-training state of mind (it is after all the start of pitchers and catchers week), we recommend giving Tim Green’s RIVALS, and Mike Lupica’s, THE BATBOY a read. (We had the pleasure of personally meeting Tim, and he is one good guy.)
So even if you’re not on the beach right now like us, get a copy of THE GENIUS FILES (Stanley read it on his NOOK), or win a FREE book from us. That’s right, just leave a comment (we especially favor the ones where you mention us or one of our previous shows – heh heh), and you’re in the hopper. And check out the GENIUS book trailer — You’re going to love it!
Uh-oh. Looks like Stanley is getting a little too much sun there. Time to turn him over and get that rat some SPF 45. (Or maybe some aloe vera. I hope he doesn’t blister.)
This is Morris saying “so long” and asking you to join us on our upcoming episodes when we CHAT about new books by authors and illustrators: Thomas Yezerski, Carolyn Crimi & David Roberts, Elizabeth Schoonmaker, Lisa Wheeler & Sophie Blackall, Erica S. Perl & Henry Cole, Karen Rostoker-Gruber & Paul Ratz de Tagyos, and more. Stay tuned-in. (And yes, you did read ‘Ratz’ correctly. No relation.)
See you next time — on RAT CHAT!