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Archive for Monday, August 16, 2010

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NERDS power makes for an involving read

August 16, 2010

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Living under disguise and saving the world from danger, a group of fifth-grade superspies, known as NERDS (National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society), prepares to embark on its second mission in “NERDS: M is for Mama’s Boy” by Michael Buckley.

This time, the culprit is Simon (code name: Choppers), a former member of the team who is determined to use a technology-controlling device to eradicate all of the members of NERDS and control the world.

Luckily, NERDS is composed of five kids with extraordinary superpowers. Through computer programming, all of the spies’ weaknesses were changed into strengths.

The protagonist, glue-eating Duncan Dewey (codename: Gluestick), has the ability to stick to walls and cling on ceilings. Ruby Peet (codename: Pufferfish), the team leader, has allergies and uses her sensitive nerves to detect danger and trouble. Matilda Choi (codename: Wheezer), who suffers from asthma, programs her inhalers to fly above the clouds and blast adversaries. Julio Escala (codename: Flinch), converts all of the sugar and junk food that he consumes into kinetic energy, which lets him run at incredible speeds and fight with tremendous strength. Jackson Jones (codename: Braceface), the newest NERDS member, can turn his versatile braces into any gadget or machine that the team lacks.

When Simon was a part of NERDS, he helped defeat crime by hypnotizing and controlling enemies with his prominent set of buck teeth. Now, as a deserter and outcast, Simon has abused his powers by hypnotizing a gang of squirrels to help him take over the world.

When Simon first lands in Arlington, Va., he crafts a scheme to draw the attention of the NERDS by robbing a bank with his army of squirrels. Almost instantly, NERDS Director Alexander Brand and NERDS information specialist Ms. Holiday (who also serves as the school librarian) rally the five remaining crew members and pack them onto the School Bus, a modified rocket that serves as the NERDS’s official transportation device.

Agent Brand and Ms. Holiday have discovered that Simon plans to target the Royal Bank of Scotland next, so they send their spies to the British Isles in an attempt to catch and stop Simon. Unfortunately, this time, Simon zaps all of the heroes of their super abilities with a ray shooter. Suddenly, Gluestick, Wheezer, Pufferfish, Flinch and Braceface must tackle Simon and his state-of-the-art technology with only bravery and bare wits. Will they win?

Gripping and dynamic, this action book gives the audience a taste of thrilling adventure and mind-dazzling feats. Geared toward children ages 8 to 12, NERDS stretches the imagination while luring the reader into the midst of the action. As the plot progresses, the audience finds itself more and more involved in the quest. From the front cover to the last page, NERDS guarantees a gripping adventure all the way through.

“NERDS: M is for Mama’s Boy” will be available in September from Amulet Books.

Meixi Wang will be a junior at Free State High School.

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