11-year-old Gauss wakes up to find that his friend has been kidnapped. Little does he know that this event is just the beginning. Evil is coming to the small town of Franklin, and it’s coming for a very specific reason.
It’s up to Gauss and his friends to stop the threat.
In most ways, Gauss is an average boy. Actually, that’s too kind. Physically, he’s the opposite of imposing. One might guess that he weighs only slightly more than a feather and has the muscular strength of a mouse.
If there is anything extraordinary about Gauss, it is his math.
In a popularity contest, math ability is the equivalent of forfeiting. However, it’s appreciated in Gauss’s circle of friends that includes a young hacker and a budding engineer.
Gauss’s crew is talented, but they’ve never seen a challenge like what’s coming. What has brought this danger to their town? Can they piece together the clues in time? Can they outsmart evil?
What Parents Need to Know
The story contains instances of kidnapping and arson. There is one scene where an 11-year-old girl is struck in the leg with a blunt object. In another scene, a young character learns that her father has died in a car accident.
In one scene, 4 friends must determine which of 16 dishes is tainted with a laughing potion. There isn’t enough time for each child to try a dish, wait to see if it’s tainted and then try another one. All eating has to be done immediately. Can the 4 children find a way to determine exactly which dish has the laughing potion?
In another scene, 4 of 9 scientists are impostors (and up to no good). Gauss must find a real scientist to thwart the evil plan. Gauss can talk to the scientists, but he knows that the impostors might lie to him. How will Gauss solve the puzzle?
The math in this book is challenging enough to spark interesting mathematical conversations. Parents are encouraged to read along with their children and to discuss why Gauss’s methods are successful.
It’s Not About the Math!
Gauss’s greatest challenge is an ethical one. Ultimately, he’ll confront the source of the evil in his town and hold that individual’s fate in his hands. After experiencing kindness repaid and learning from a role model who always turns the other cheek, will Gauss choose to punish or save?