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2011 February 17
by ratchatreviews

Hey there, Chatters!

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’sMr. 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!

11 Responses leave one →
  1. February 17, 2011

    Stanley, Thank you for visiting our site. My daughter loves the “My Weird School” series. She just read Mrs. Roopy is Loopy. We will look for the Genius Files. And guess what, we are Jersey Girls!
    Rat Chat is amazing and we will continue to share it with all our friends.

    Thanks ~ Lauri Chandler

  2. Linda Nixon permalink
    February 18, 2011

    New Dan Gutman series? I’m in!

  3. February 23, 2011

    Thanks for the nice review of “The Genius Files.” And thanks for sharing my books with kids and parents too!
    Dan Gutman

  4. Mrs. Healy permalink
    February 27, 2011

    I have to say Stanley and Morris, I am jealous of the picture of you guys tanning on the beach. I think we are all sick of snow here in NJ. What a great review for Dan Gutman. My students are ‘crazy’ for his books. I know they would love to have his new book in the media center. We are hoping to have Mr. Gutman join us next year for a visit. :-) I am looking forward to hearing what is next.

  5. Sandy B. permalink
    March 4, 2011

    Really enjoyed Aunt Tilly’s take on The Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival Story. I’ll wait to run out and buy it until I see how my luck serves me in the drawing for the autographed copy of the book. It’s going right onto my recommendation list of PB with links at many levels for classroom use, starting with a comparison to Lynne Cherry’s A River Ran Wild: An Environmental History. (HBJ, 1992).

    • March 4, 2011

      Thanks, Sandy. But — don’t wait to win! It’s a great book — why not have two? Three? Or share with friend. Aunt Tilly would approve.

  6. Jude permalink
    March 5, 2011

    This sounds great. I want use it in our library’s summer reading program.

    • March 5, 2011

      Perfect summer — anytime reading! Your library’s young readers will love this new adventure by Dan.

  7. March 7, 2011

    Dan Gutman is the big cheese.

    My son and I adore the Weird School series. We will definitely check out The Genius Files.

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