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NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society (Book One) Paperback – August 1, 2010

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Frequently Bought Together

NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society (Book One) + NERDS: Book Two: M Is for Mama's Boy + NERDS: Book Three: The Cheerleaders of Doom
Price for all three: $23.85

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: NERDS (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Amulet Paperbacks (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810989859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810989856
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

More About the Author

After a tragic accident I was bombarded with gamma radiation. Days later, I awoke to discover I had changed. Now when I am angered I transform into an enormous, green monster people have come to call "The Hulk." I faked my own death and I'll stay dead until I can learn to control the savage monster inside me. Wait a minute - that's the bio for Bruce Banner! No, I grew up in Akron, Ohio -- nowhere near any lab where gamma radiation research was going on. When I was a kid I was a roller boogie fanatic but that hardly makes me a monster...even if people were injured a few times when I would "shoot the duck." No, the closest thing I have to a monster inside me are my Incredible Hulk underoos! Does that count?

Customer Reviews

I recommend this for 3rd Graders mostly with 4th graders as well.
The plot is well-developed, the characters are entertaining, and the action is intense and fun to read about.
My 10 year old son does not like to read but he absolutely loved this book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By NM Mom TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow! This is the 1st book in a new series and all I can say is, "WOW!" My 8-year-old LOVES this book! He is a HUGE fan of realistic fiction and funny books. I have been struggling to find him books that meet these criteria. He loves the books about STINK (Judy Moody's brother), The Grosse Adventures, and the Boo books (About a secret agent), but they are not challenging reading for him anymore. He read one of the 39 Clues book, but they are not really funny. This book is perfect. There are between 1 and 3 words per page that he doesn't know, so he is learning new vocabulary and being challenged. And, it is funny! For example, one of the characters has 8 rows of teeth, 2 on top and 2 on the bottom. When he gets braces, they are highly magnetic and keep getting stuck to things. My son thinks this is hysterical! The story is "realistic" in that it is about a group of 5th graders who are nerds. Basically, this group of nerds is part of a CIA/FBI group that even the president doesn't know about. NERDS stands for National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society. Each kid has a special talent to contribute to solving mysteries. In this book, the problem is that Greenland has collided with Iceland (funny!) Presumably, in every book they will solve a different mystery or crack a different case. This book is probably for 4th - 6th graders, but as I said, I'm having trouble finding something for my 3rd grader. This fits the bill! He and I can't wait 'till the 2nd book comes out. I hope the author is a fast writer! We want to read as many of these as we can over the next 4 or so years! I highly recommend this book!


The 2nd N.E.R.D.S. book is due out September, 2010, See comment section of this review for link.

The 3rd N.E.R.D.S. book is due out September, 2011, See comment section of this review for link.

My son is now 10 and he is actively looking forward to the 3rd book!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By gift of wisdom on September 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I cannot say enough about this book. My 10 year old son just loved it. He read it in three sittings, could not put it down! It is a funny adventure while also having challenging vocabulary words. Another plus, there are graphics in this book!! It is great for reluctant readers. To the author I say..." Thank You, Thank You !!!" It has been very difficult to find all around great books for kids in this age group. He can't wait until the next book. I agree with the previous poster...I hope the author is a fast writer!!! I can see this book soaring to the top of the charts!!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Jackson Jones has the run of Nathan Hale Elementary School. As the star quarter back of the football team, he can do no wrong. He and his friends rule the school. That is until Jackson has to get braces. As if his magnetic head gear weren't bad enough, no one will talk to him.

That's when Jackson learns that his school is the headquarters for a super secret spy program made up of kids. Much to the other NERDS' dismay, he is asked to join their team. Can he get the hang of his new responsibilities in time to save the world?

This book may be aimed at kids, but I loved it. The obvious spoof references to James Bond and the spy genre in general will tickle adult's funny bones. Yet there is enough humor that the kids will get as well. While there is a lot that feels like set up for the rest of the series, it was all highly entertaining. I was never bored once while reading. Outside of Jackson, I never quite felt like the rest of the team stood out, although some of the other characters were memorable.

The book went by all too quickly, and I was sorry to finish it. I can hardly wait for the next adventure of the team.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By B. Hendry on September 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
N.E.R.D.S. is funny and entertaining and about a group of kids with special abilities who work together to save the world from the evil villain Doctor Jigsaw. The 5 members of the N.E.R.D.S. team are: Duncan Dewey, Codename: Gluestick. He's a paste-eater who can stick to walls. Ruby Peet, Codename: Pufferfish. Her allergies help her to detect danger and dishonesty. Heathcliff Hodges, Codename: Choppers. He can control minds with his buckteeth and is secretly the evil villain Simon. Julio Escala, Codename: Flinch. His hyperactivity gives him super speed and strength. Matilda Choi, Codename: Wheezer. Her inhalers enable her to fly and blast enemies. Jackson Jones, Codename: Braceface. He's the new recruit. His braces can project long arms that can form weapons. But he just cannot get over becoming a NERD.
The plot is that Dr. Jigsaw plans to move all the continents together to make Pangaea using a tractor beam, and then take over it. N.E.R.D.S. stands for National Espionage, Rescue, And Defense Society. Aside from the N.E.R.D.S. team themselves, there are some other people who are part of N.E.R.D.S. including: Agent Brand the director, Ms. Holiday is the librarian and briefer, The Lunch Lady is the Orbital Jet driver. And the scientists who create all the technology that the N.E.R.D.S. team uses.
The children's special abilities make the book very interesting. The special abilities are built around the characters weakness. The ability transforms the so-called weakness into an advantage, covering it up completely. Take Ruby Peet for example. Ruby suffers from the worst case of allergies in world history. After gaining her special abilities she could make her allergies work for her by letting her sense stuff like danger and betrayal. You can also take Jackson as an example.
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