Sunday, August 16, 2009

NERDS Michael Buckley

Nerds: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society by Michael Buckley. I loved two things about this book before page one. First, the multicultural cast. Second, the title acronym. National, Espionage, Rescue and Defense Society, couldn't be any better.

Jackson Jones was Mr. popular at Nathan Hale Elementary until he got his braces. Before the braces everyone loved Jackson and wanted to be his friend. Jackson spent a lot of time tormenting the not so popular kids. ackson Jones was a bully. After the braces Jackson is friendless and lonely. Jackson eventually stumbles upon the NERDS secret chambers underneath Nathan Hale Elementary. NERDS is a secret organization created by the government in the 70's the agent's are always children. Jackson, accidentally acesses the physical enchancement protocol. The machine searches agents for weakness and enchances them. Those weaknesses then become the person strength. Jackson's braces are his weakness, he gets a serious up grade, and a new code name - BraceFace.

Current Agents- Duncan Dewey, code name Gluestick, Matilda Choi code name Wheezer, Heathcliff Hodges, code name Choppers, Ruby Peet, code name Pufferfish and Julio Escala, code name Flinch. After his accidental upgrade, Jackson is asked to join the time by Alexander an agent sent by governments to oversee the NERDS operation. Agent Alexander shares a little of the history of spying with Jackson.

"Suddenly, Jackson's room disappeared into a three dimensional desert landscape so real he started to sweat. A beautiful pyramid rose up right before him, as well as thousands of dark skinned men and womenin tunics. They were gathered about listening to a single figure dressed in robes and a crown. Jackson guessed he was a king. The secret agent has been around since the earliest days of recorded history. Akhenaten, the controversial Pharaoh of Egypt, enlisted his own son, Tutankhamun, to keep a careful eye on his enemies." (from the ARC)

All the agents hate Jackson because he was a bully. In front of the book, the author says he was a former nerd and it shows in his writing. Jackson isn't offered easy forgiveness . The other agents pretty much hate and don't trust him throughout the entire book. At one point Jackson, even quits the team. This was something very honest about there not being easy redemption for Jackson. The way he treated everyone pre-braces he didn't deserve it. I think I've managed the impossible, talking about NERDS for this long, and not mentioning how funny it is. NERDS is laugh out loud funny, thanks in large part to the Hyena, a hired assassin. I loved Hyena, she's my favorite character. She recently accepted a new position with Dr. Jigsaw, a man who wants to takeover the world.

"The Hyena reached into her pocket and took out a folded not. She double clicked the coordinates written inside and frowned. There was no mistake. She was in the right place and there wasn't a living soul in sight. Her mysterious new employer had started off on the wrong foot . It was rude to leave a person waiting in subzero weather at the North Pole! She wondered why criminal masterminds were so obsessed with desolate locations. Couldn't this Dr. Jigsaw meet her in Hawaii or the Bahamas? Half of the money she made as a criminal was spent on mittens and long underwear" (from the ARC)

The NERDS are the only ones who can stop Dr. Jigsaw. I loved everything about this book. The gadgets are cool and slick. The writing is fast, fun, entertaining and well thoughtout. The fight and action scene are great. There are illustrations sprinkled through tout the book, adding just a little extra to an already great story. Young readers will love NERDS and its definitely reluctant reader friendly. Ages 8up Read a chapter NERDS will be on sale in September. If this sounds good check out The Big Splash by Jack Ferraiolo I loved this middle grade mystery. my review.


Charlotte said...

Sounds like one for us--thanks!

Unknown said...

This is one of my top books to read this year and will definitely move up in the stack! I bought Big Splash last year and will read that at the same time! Thanks Doret!

Kate Coombs said...

Okay, this sounds like a kick--thanks for the review! I feel like I've warmed up for it by reading Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute, which is also both kick-butt and nerdy.

Chinzy said...

my son is reading this book. Any idea how to pronounce the moms name, Aiha?