Twelve-year-old Charlotte (Charlie) Thorne is a wunderkind. Her IQ is almost as high as was Einstein’s, she speaks twelve languages fluently and is amazingly dexterous in mathematics, the sciences, coding and all things technological. She’s not always wise in the ways of the world, however, and she once made the mistake of sharing a computer security program she created with a corporation that stole her work without giving her credit. (She managed to get $40 million out of them in revenge and has her fortune stashed in a Swiss bank account.)
Charlie is on the outs with her parents because they have always promoted and tried to capitalize on her gifts, which she has resented. She has tried to frustrate their plans at every possible opportunity. In fact, she has enrolled full-time at the University of Colorado to get away from them. Because the classes are a slam-dunk for her, she spends her time skiing, trying to make friends to expand her social life, and generally doing as she pleases.
Enter her half-brother Dante, a CIA operative who is bent on recruiting her to help find a “lost” equation nicknamed Pandora that Einstein supposedly discovered, an equation that could revolutionize the world’s balance of power by providing a simpler but vastly more efficient source of energy. Charlie doesn’t trust her brother, doesn’t trust the CIA, doesn’t really trust anyone but herself. As she is threatened with jail time for her shady activities in amassing her fortune, she grudgingly joins forces with Dante and his crew as they race around the world trying to find and solve the equation before a competing group called the Furies beats them to it.
This is a great read for any YA–full of all kinds of fascinating information about codes, Israel and its Mossad, right-wing terrorist groups, Einstein’s life and theories, constantly-shifting political power balances, and the difficulty of an oversized intellect trying to navigate within the framework of an adolescent’s not-quite-fully-developed emotional and ethical mindset.
No sex. No offensive language. Quite a bit of violence, as you would expect. Buy this one for your library and get some copies to pass around to friends, too.