Sunday, March 17, 2013

NERDS by Michael Buckley

Premise: An action-packed, tongue-in-cheek take on the world of superheroes and villains. Jackson Jones, 11, transitions from Mr. Popular to complete loser in the time it takes to be fitted for braces with headgear. He soon happens upon the underground headquarters of a group of outcasts called NERDS, who, with the help of technology "upgrades," turn weaknesses like allergies into superpowers, fighting crime in secret until the age of 18...(Amazon)

Title: NERDS
Author: Michael Buckley
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Series or Stand Alone: Book 1 of 4 in the N.E.R.D.S. series
Content appropriate for: Grades 4-7                                 
5 stars

Three Adjectives: hilarious, exciting, nerdy

There are some books you seek out for personal, intellectual and academic growth: things written by Austen Tolstoy, Proust and the like. This however is NOT one of those books! NERDS literally made the ten-year-old boy inside of me squeal with delight with its pages of kid-friendly humor and hi-jinks.

Jackson is an all-around golden boy with athletic skills and good looks, that is until he is "marred" by strangely magnetic braces and head gear. Cast out from his merry band of jock friends, Jackson is left to his own devices. Curiosity leads him to the group of the school's biggest nerds who turn out to be super spies.

What I like about this concept is that Buckley chooses to enhance the nerds' weaknesses instead of giving them super human upgrades that distract from their "geekdom." The NERDS aren't hyper-focused on their shortcomings, and yet they have real emotional responses when it comes to issues like school bullies and team dynamics. NERDS even finds a way to tastefully insert an anti-bullying theme without coming off too preachy.

This was such a fun book to experience; from the periodic DNA checks for higher security clearance to the powerful "it gets better" message to all outcasts. And lets face it, who doesn't want to be some type of super hero spy at one point or another in life? Young readers will love this action-packed, humor-filled geek fest, and older readers might just find a way to connect to their own inner nerd.

1 comment:

  1. Michael Buckley via TwitterMarch 18, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Thanks! This is a gem. Glad it spoke to your inner nerd!