by Bryan R. Johnson, edited by Cynthea Liu
Age Level: 8 and up ❘ Grade Level: 3 and up
Guided Reading Level: N ❘ Lexile Measure: 600L-700L
When Jason meets his mom’s billion-dollar invention, an artificial intelligence device named Proto, he accidentally gets caught up in a mysterious adventure. Proto goes missing, and then people go missing. Now Jason and his coolest-neighbor-ever Maya must risk their lives to prevent global mayhem. But who is behind this devious plot? Is it another AI? The FBI? Or any other abbreviation with an I? What exactly is there to learn about artificial and human intelligence while fighting for your life against a legion of furry puppies or a battalion of drones? A lot— if you live to tell about it.
"The Proto Project: A Sci-Fi Adventure of the Mind is a fast-paced and exciting novel that makes the techiest James Bond spy thriller seem old-fashioned and stodgy by comparison. Johnson does the British Secret Service’s tech-maestro Q even better as Jason and Maya find themselves in a desperate partnership with a spider-sized Artificial Intelligence as they attempt to rescue Jason’s mom and dad and quite possibly save the planet. The plot is zany and unpredictable, and Johnson’s characters are a hoot to watch as they expand their imaginations, skills, and world-views in response to the crisis they’re facing. I found this book impossible to put down and am hoping that the author considers giving Maya, Jason and Proto another global challenge to work with. Surely characters this credible and fun to be with deserve a sequel? The Proto Project: A Sci-Fi Adventure of the Mind is most highly recommended."
"There is a lot of fun to be had in this book for young readers. It carries the reader on a quick-turning, thrilling ride much like the Saturday morning action cartoons of the 1980s. Upper elementary readers looking for a fast adventure with a sci-fi setting will likely enjoy Proto and his adventure."