From School Library Journal
Grade 5–7—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. While trying to escape, Jackson himself is accidentally upgraded—his braces become equipped with tiny nanobytes capable of morphing into any object. Asked to join the NERDS, Jackson quickly learns that not everyone wants him around—especially those he used to pick on. Unity must come quickly, however, to foil the evil Dr. Jigsaw, whose mission to reunite the continents of the world will lead to massive destruction. The absurd story line humorously hits on some oft-ignored topics—what is the difference between a goon, a henchman, a minion, and an assassin anyway? Readers will delight in these unexpected touches. The pacing is quick and the action is plentiful—kids will almost hear the sound effects as they read. The book itself is treated as a top-secret NERDS case file, complete with increasingly ridiculous security-clearance requirements (thumbprint, saliva sample, money). Angular, black-and-white illustrations highlight main characters and pivotal moments. NERDS
brings a worthy message to the fore—that uncool kids can grow up to be anything but. Funny, clever, and thoroughly entertaining, this title should be popular.—Travis Jonker, Dorr Elementary School, MI
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About the Author
Michael Buckley is the author of The Sisters Grimm, a New York Times bestselling series and a Today Show Al Roker Book Club pick. He has also written and developed shows for such networks as the Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Disney. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York. Visit teamnerds.com.