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Shredderman: Secret Identity Hardcover – February 10, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 520L (What's this?)
  • Series: Shredderman (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (February 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375823514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375823510
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Fifth-grader Nolan Byrd has suffered at the hands of school bully Bubba Bixby for too long. Inspired by a class project, Nolan (a.k.a "Byrd-the-Nerd") creates a "cyber-superhero" alter ego called Shredderman, and sets out to avenge himself and his fellow Bubba-sufferers. Our likeable but nerdly and put-upon protagonist spots his shot at redemption when Mr. Green (Nolan's pony-tailed teacher, a.k.a. "the Happy Hippie") assigns the class's monthly project: Students must create a newspaper page, complete with stories and photos, on a topic of their choice. In a flash, Nolan realizes he has the perfect subject: "I had an idea that would make Bubba Bixby sorry he'd ever called us names. Or swiped our stuff. Or breathed his trashy breath down our throats. I’d do my report on Bubba Bixby!" Shortly thereafter Shredderman is born, and Nolan springs into action, armed with a computer, a cleverly concealed digital camera, and his own top-secret Web page, Shredderman.com, "where truth and justice prevail!"

Wendelin Van Draanen, author of How I Survived Being a Girl, and the super-cool Sammy Keyes mysteries series, has all sorts of fun here, taking a traditional bully-comeuppance tale and adding some high-tech cyber twists. Her descriptions prove as playful as ever, "Bubba Bixby's got rocky knuckles. And killer breath;" and her goofy cast is made even more memorable by the lively work of first-time kids' book illustrator Brian Biggs. (Ages 9 to 12) --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6-A new series featuring a puny but brainy fifth grader named Nolan Byrd, whose dorky ways earn him the nickname of "Nerd" from Bubba Bixby, a seemingly unstoppable bully who cheats, lies, steals, and terrorizes little kids. Tired of Bubba's relentless tormenting, Nolan anonymously launches shredderman.com, an online forum that chronicles the bully's transgressions. The name Shredderman is inspired by the compliment Nolan's math teacher writes on a quiz, "You shred, man!" Readers will be impressed with the protagonist's ingenious problem-solving abilities and his adept use of technology to expose Bubba. This entertaining story of an egghead who cannot keep his shoes tied who uses his brains to triumph over the worst bully in school will keep even reluctant readers laughing and wanting more stories about this cyber superhero. Droll, black-and-white cartoons are a perfect accompaniment to the clever text.
Edward Sullivan, White Pine School, TN
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

"Through writing, I open up my heart and soul in ways I never could in everyday life. The joy, the pain, the wonder and loneliness I felt in growing up, meld into stories which I hope will help kids believe in themselves and have compassion for those around them."--Wendelin Van Draanen

Wendelin Van Draanen is the winner of the 1999 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Children's Mystery Book for Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief. Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes is a 2003 Edgar Award nominee.


Visit Wendelin Van Draanen's Web site at www.wendelinvandraanen.com for the lastest on The Gecko and Sticky, Sammy Keyes, Shredderman, and more!

How in the world did I wind up writing a book about a kleptomaniacal, talking gecko lizard? I'm the first to admit-talking animals are not my thing. First person, realistic fiction-that's what I like. And yet, after Sticky appeared as a sidekick television character in my Shredderman series and uttered his first "Holy guaco-tacarole!" I was hooked. He's so funny. And so full of mischief.
I always develop a backstory for my characters to get to know them. Even if they're secondary characters, I have to understand their background and motivations before I let them into the story. The premise of the third Shredderman book (Meet the Gecko) is that a television crew comes to town to shoot an episode, and Shredderman helps out the star of the show. Not wanting to deal with the legal complications of using a real television show, I made up my own: The Gecko and Sticky. In the process, I came up with the hero (Dave Sanchez-a boy who has the "superpower" of being able to walk up walls, and is known as the Gecko), the sidekick (Sticky who is, as you already know, a talking gecko with . . . h'hem, sticky fingers), the villain (the deadly, diabolical, and definitely demented Damien Black), and Damien's sidekicks (the Bandito Brothers, who are, in fact, not brothers, but a thieving mariachi band).
It was definitely wilder than anything I'd come up with before, but hey-it was just a made-up TV show, right?
Ah, how diabolically infectious made-up TV shows can be!
Sticky, you see, got under my skin. His "Ay-ay-ay"s and his "What the jalapeno was that?" and his "You cut me to the quick, senor" enchanted me, and I was sorry when his role in the Shredderman books was over.
After the Shredderman quartet was complete, I began getting lots of fan mail from kids (and teachers) asking me to please write more Shredderman books. It was tempting, because I love Nolan and the gang. But I'd completed my mission with the quartet; so instead, I started writing The Gecko and Sticky.
My first attempt resulted in an over 200-page manuscript. That was closer to a Sammy Keyes novel than a Shredderman book. So I hacked it up, threw it out, and started all over.
My next try had me at 150 pages-still too long, and something about it wasn't quite right. So I chucked it and asked myself what in the world I was thinking, writing in the voice of a lizard.
But then on a flight from New York to California, I started hearing a voice. It wasn't my voice. Or the guy snoring in the seat beside me. It was, you know, a voice. One in my head.
Yeah, we writers hear them, and although we will almost certainly deny it if you press us about it, we also listen. It's how I wrote Swear to Howdy; how Bryce appeared in Flipped; where Holly's poems came from in Runaway . . . and it's how the narrator took over the storytelling for The Gecko and Sticky.
It's a man's voice in my head. (Okay, I concede that I might need some help.) But he's funny as all get-out, and I like to listen to him. He's the voice of someone who loves the art of storytelling; of someone who will hold a child's wide-eyed attention as he shares the wild antics of a boy and his mischievous gecko; of someone I'd plead, "Just one more chapter, please?"
So I hope that explains it, because I really must go. He's talking to me again and I've got to get back to Dave and Sticky. They are, after all, in the midst of some deep, diabolical doo-doo . . .

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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This is an excellent book for the middle elementary grades.
RAGs to Riches
I highly recommend this book series, particularly if you have a son who doesn't like reading.
Laura G
Once she completed the first book, she begged to get the next in the series.
Karen McCloskey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By LonestarReader VINE VOICE on August 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
OK, Captain Underpants fans, here is the book you have been waiting for.

Nolan Byrd and all the kids at school have suffered at the hands of Bubba for years. He is just plain mean. The kids have to tolerate his stealing, his lying, his cheating, and even adopt the ugly nicknames Bubba has bestowed on them.

Nolan finds an inspired solution to the Bubba problem when his teacher assigns a newspaper project. Shredderman.com, a website devoted to exposing Bubba and his dirty tricks is born.

Readers are completely caught up in Nolan's excitement and cheer his comical and witty victory over Bubba. Nolan's own self confidence improves as he takes control of his life. Van Draanen's writing is fast paced, smart and funny. Once I started the book, I HAD to finish it. At 144 pages it goes quickly.

This would be an interesting read-aloud and could spark some terrific discussions about civility, kindness and tolerance. Many books about bullies are heavy handed and flat. This books addresses the subject with great humor and a light touch.

Nolan, (Shredderman) has the power to do enormous good, thankfully there are more Shreddermans coming.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By SM on November 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
My 6 and 8 year old sons LOVED this book, and it was highly recommended to my younger son by the local librarian. I agree that it is a fun and very well-written book! My issue is that the story is about a kid who creates a website to basically cyberbully the traditional bully. The end of the book turns around a little, with the favorite teacher urging the main character to use his website to promote the good things people do, but it wasn't all that clear in the book that the hero had really crossed the line into bad territory.

I used the book as a teaching point with my sons. I explained that it was not OK for the hero to put embarassing photos (e.g., the bully's backside) and jokes about the bully on the website. I explained the difference between that and posting photos that caught the bully in the act of stealing or doing other unacceptable things, as a reporter might. I told them how some kids have been cyberbullied, and haven't wanted to go back to school because they were so embarassed. They're too young at this age to have a discussion about just how bad things can get with cyberbullying, but they do need to know that it's not something cool!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Laura G on January 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son is in 4th grade and reading is not his favorite activity. We have every book known to man to inspire his desire to read... non-fiction, fiction, you name it. A friend recommended the Shredderman series, so I ordered the first two on Amazon. We started reading this book together last night and my son can't put the book down! This has never happened before, as usually he's counting the minutes when he reads. With this book, he wants to read on and find out what happens. I think he can relate to the characters and, because he's also good at math, can relate to the main character Nolan, the "Shredderman." The book is well written, funny, realistic and has some great one-liners. I've found myself laughing out loud. A great book about how "brains win over muscle." I highly recommend this book series, particularly if you have a son who doesn't like reading.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a fun read! Kids, as well as adults, will enjoy Shredderman. Definitely, NOT the same old, same old! Can't wait to introduce Shredderman to my fourth graders. I know they'll enjoy him as much as I did. There are a lot of topics in the story ripe for discussion. Can't wait for Book 2.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Anderson on December 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I would suggest this book for 3rd, 4th or 5th graders that have a hard time getting interested in reading. We need more of these types of books to inspire interest and imagination. The theme of nerd-hero using his brains to overcome adversity is certainly a good thing too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S.P.E.W. fan on May 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Wendelin Van Draanen rarely disappoints, and the Shredderman character is fantastic. So many young boys relate to a boy without many friends. Nolan Byrd is picked on, and people rarely see through his "nerdiness" to really get to know him. He is bullied, and decides to fight back, but in a way all his own. His computer skills and hi-tech gadgets help him in with fight against Bubby Bixby, the baddest elementary school kid in Cedar Valley. A great book for boys that are done with beginning chapter books, and looking for the next step.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I think the book Shredderman Secret Identity is the best book I have ever read. It is the best book to me because it teaches people how to stand up for your self, and don't let no bully pick on you or your friends. It was also a very funny book. Well I dedicate this book to every kid and even adults.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lincoln Dewey on May 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So I am reading a 5th grade book for the In2Books reading mentor program. Shredderman is supposed to teach kids about bullies I suppose. Bubba is the bully who picks on people and calls them names. Nolan is the Shredderman...He gets his name because his teacher likes to play guitar and on one of Nolan's paper's as a compliment he said "You Shred man"

Anyways...they get the assignment to report on something so shredderman decides to do a report on Bubba and expose him to the world of what a bully he is. Shredderman takes his camera and hides it in his backpack and catches bubba in the act and starts a website called shredderman.com He prints out the website address and cuts it into small pieces and blows them all over the playground so everyone at school will be able to go check out the website. Ok Bubba is a bully and he shouldn't pick on kids right but what the heck shredderman is just as bad if not worse...making fun of someone via the internet!! Anyways I have to write to my student partner about this book and I dont know how to say anything positive about it.
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