Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation.

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  • Source:
    School Library Journal. Winter2020, Vol. 65 Issue 12, p57-57. 1/9p.


Booklist Reviews 2019 July #1

At first glance, 12-year-old Charlie Thorne might appear reckless, especially when skiing off of Deadman's Drop, but Charlie is always running the numbers. Her genius-level IQ lets her precisely calculate her landing, as well as the odds that two of the people on the slopes below are waiting to apprehend her. After an intense chase, CIA agents Dante Garcia and Milana Moon capture Charlie and convince (i.e., blackmail) her to help them find Pandora, a powerful equation believed to have been developed and hidden by Einstein—a terrorist group is also on its trail. Gibbs deftly pens an Alex Rider–level adventure with this series starter, as the trio races to solve clues and find Pandora before it falls into the wrong hands. Issues of racial and gender diversity are nicely folded into the plot, which moves at breakneck speed from start to literal cliff-hanger finish. Charlie is a wildly entertaining protagonist whose intelligence is balanced by normal preteen rebellion. It doesn't take a theoretical physicist to predict that this series will be popular.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Best-seller Gibbs is touring and seeing heavy publisher promotion for this title. A powerful equation in its own right! Grades 5-8. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

PW Reviews 2019 July #4

This adrenaline-charged thriller by Gibbs (the Spy School series) introduces 12-year-old supergenius Charlie Thorne and sends her, with two CIA agents, in search of a world-changing equation developed by Albert Einstein before his death. Charlie is skipping university classes in Colorado to ski forbidden slopes when she is tracked down by agents Dante Garcia and Milana Moon. They need her help to find Pandora, an equation concealed by Einstein that could make both cheap, clean energy and terrible weapons. The Furies, a white supremacist cell, is hot on Pandora's trail, and Garcia believes that only Charlie can solve the clues that Einstein left behind and get the CIA there first. Clues take them to Israel, where both groups run afoul of the Mossad. Bullets fly, bodies fall, puzzles lead to more puzzles, and chases via skateboard and Humvee ensue at a breakneck pace. In addition to all the action, Gibbs slips in a few lessons on cryptography and Einstein, and poses questions about moral uses of power that give this adventure depth. Charlie is a terrific hero—outrageously smart, courageous, and still believable as a kid. After this explosive start, young readers will eagerly await her next adventure. Ages 10–up. (Sept.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.