Marie Curious, Girl Genius: Saves the World

Kane Miller. (Marie Curious, Girl Genius: Bk. 1). Mar. 2022. 256p. pap. $5.99.ISBN 9781684643523.
G. 3-6–Young readers who can suspend reality will enjoy the first installment in this series. Twelve-year-old Marie loves science and inventing and is suddenly selected to attend Vance Camp in the United States, an elite experience for kids who, like Marie, excel at inventing, robotics, and science. After flying from her home in England to the United States, Marie meets what are sure to be her cronies on future occasions where technologically-based mysteries and adventures will ensue. This particular novel pits Marie and friends against a girl who purposely sabotages the kids’ inventions, all while the real bad guy operates in full view and attempts to wreak havoc on the entire world (or at the very least, every human who uses the Apple-like Vance products). Thankfully, the four girls, who together invent antbots and call them GEMS—an acronym for their names—save the day and the world, just like the title promises. Younger readers might not take issue with 12-year-olds who breach firewalls and physical barriers to hack into security systems and highly classified company files, and then go on to confront the CEO of a mammoth technology conglomeration. Marie and her friends help the CEO catch the bad guy. The plot can be compared to titles like Gordon Korman’s Unplugged and Jude Watson’s Loot, where children easily outfox the adults. The reader is left with a couple of obvious positive messages: confident female protagonists who stand out in the STEAM field and collaboration and teamwork are vehicles for success.
VERDICT A solid addition to intermediate collections with a need for quick, but compelling, stories.

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