The Proto Project: A Sci-Fi Adventure of the Mind

by Bryan R. Johnson, edited by Cynthea Liu

Kid-Tested, Parent and Teacher Approved.

Mom’s Choice Award Gold Recipient

Wishing Shelf Award Finalist


Age Level: 8 and up ❘ Grade Level: 3 and up
Guided Reading Level: N ❘ Lexile Measure: 600L-700L
Book Dimensions: 5 in x 0.5 in x 8 in
Page Count:
Book Weight:
6.3 oz.
Paperback ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:
Kindle ASIN:
Audible ASIN:


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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.


About the book

  • Designed to be read independently for kids ages 8-12 (3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th grade).
  • Great for children who have outgrown chapter books and are ready for non-illustrated middle grade novels.
  • Makes a wonderful casual gift or birthday gift for anyone looking for meaningful reading that is not related to video games, TV shows, or movies.

Best for kids who…

  • adore contemporary and science fiction books told with humor and tall-tale flair
  • enjoy a fast-paced novel filled with mystery, suspense and adventure
  • have outgrown advanced chapter books and enjoy series books like Percy Jackson & the Olympians, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Last Kids on Earth, The 39 Clues, and The Wild Robot, and love books by authors like James Patterson and Gordon Korman.

Great for Gift-Givers, Parents, and Educators looking for ...

  • Entertaining stories with themes centered on strong values and community
  • Books that encourage interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)
  • Humorous and heartwarming stories that emphasize collaboration and teamwork to benefit the greater good


"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."

Readers' Favorite 5-Star Review

"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."

US Review