Summary: The Smartest Kid in the Universe
Twelve-year-old Jack is a no-stress student who doesn’t believe in working hard at school. He won’t even try hard to learn Spanish, which is his best friend’s first language. It doesn’t help that his school is about to be shut down. But when he eats a bunch of jellybeans created by a scientist and suddenly has a vast store of knowledge at his disposal, he might be able to compete in a contest to put his school on the map and save it from demolition. What he doesn’t know is that there are more sinister forces working against the school.
This was so engaging — especially on audio. Everyone knows a kid like Jake who’s unmotivated at school and would rather cruise along. Then there’s the wish fulfillment element of waking up with all that knowledge essentially downloaded into your brain. I mean, I wish I could have some trivia and other knowledge fields downloaded into my brain.
I loved Jake and Gloria’s friendship and the way she motivates him to be better. As of the first book, their relationship is largely platonic but who knows what will happen in the future installments. The narrative arc of the treasure buried underneath the school adds an extra layer of thrill and suspense to the story and will keep kids flipping the pages.
Finally, there’s the thought-provoking science behind the jellybeans. It did leave me wondering whether there’ll ever come a time when we can ingest knowledge? I’m sure there were books decades before about artificial intelligence and today, it’s fast becoming normal to have programs that can do kids’ homework a la The Homework Machine.
- Death: None
- Alcohol/substance abuse: None
- Violence: None
- Ethnic: Gloria is Latina, other main characters cued white
- Sexual orientation: Main characters cued straight
Recommended for ages: 9+
Good for kids who like:
“I like the way the book is written. I wish I could be that smart by eating jellybeans.”
Kanmi F.L., Age 11
“The Smartest Kid in the Universe is amazing. It’s about a lazy guy named Jake who eats some genius jelly beans that turn him into the smartest kid in the universe! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes good reads because this book is certainly a GREAT read!”
David, Age 10
|Publication date:||November 16, 2021|
|Cover artists | Designer:|
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