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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

"Chris Grabenstein just might be the smartest writer for kids in the universe." —James Patterson The Smartest Kid in the Universe goes to genius camp in book two of this action-packed series from the New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library! Jake McQuade is the smartest kid in the universe—and he's back to defend his title! This time, he is heading off to a c…

Overall Book Review:

Being a fan of Chris Grabenstein, I was excited to read his latest book, The Smartest Kid in the Universe: Genius Camp. While this book can stand on its own without having read the first in the series, The Smartest Kid in the Universe, it is highly recommended to begin with it to help make the story even more enjoyable. The premise behind the story–jelly beans making you a genius–might seem impossible (for now), but it is a fun concept that will likely have you dreaming about the future. Then throw in the idea of artificial intelligence becoming overly brilliant and readers may wish to stay in the present. Either way, you’ll be on the edge of your seat as the fast-paced story rushes from one conflict to another. 

As in previous books, Grabenstein develops the characters and their relationships very well. It’s pretty comical to see how some of the characters respond to the main character, Jake, and his over-night brilliance. In addition to having great characters, this book has an abundance of jokes. Those who appreciate potty humor and references to bodily functions will certainly be a fan of this story as it is chock-full of it. Readers who enjoy puzzles will also love that a few are thrown into the story (but if you don’t, don’t worry as the answers are given). The Smartest Kid in the Universe: Genius Camp will be loved by tweens around the globe.

Review of a Digital Advance Reading Copy provided by Random House Books for Young Readers

Content Review:

Profanity/Language: None

Violence/Gore: Few (9) brief incidents including fighting in a video game; fable of an animal getting killed; reference to cockroaches getting squished; robots wanting to attack people; character threatened by a robot; verbal threat; character destroyed a phones; character destroyed a computer.

Sex/Nudity: Few (5) brief incidents including a boy mentioning a girl is pretty; girl kissing boys on the cheek; boy teasing another boy about a girl being his girlfriend; boy thinking a girl is attractive.

Mature Themes:

Reference to theft; many characters are brainwashed; adult character is abducted; many references to rude humor and bodily functions.

Drug/Alcohol Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I love being able to help busy parents who just don’t have the time to pre-screen all their children’s books and know how much I appreciate it as my sons have gotten older. I feel very blessed that my amazing husband makes it possible for me to be a stay-at-home mother to four amazing boys. When not reading or enjoying time with my family, I like baking, especially trying new recipes, and the occasional sewing project.