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Speeding Bullet Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"You have to believe in yourself," Nick's teachers at N.Y.C.'s Harrison High are always saying. But the 10th-grader tells himself that it's "better to fail by design than risk failing for real." However, fate seems to have other plans for Nick when he rescues a girl from being hit by a subway train. After he saves a man from a burning building, Nick feels that he has a mission as compelling as that of his favorite comic-book character. He gains local fame and the welcome attentions of gorgeous, willful Linda Lanko, daughter of New York's biggest real estate developer, who whisks him into the heady milieu of the social elite. Mr. Lanko pricks the bubble of Nick's repeated heroism with some sobering information, and the boy finds himself seemingly bereft of his powers when they're most needed--until he looks within himself. Shusterman ( Dissidents ; The Shadow Club ) here creates a fast-paced modern parable with compelling characters and true-to-life dialogue. He is to be commended for allowing readers to puzzle out the question of divine intervention for themselves. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-12-- Nick Herrera had not meant to become a hero. When he saw the little girl in the path of the subway train, he grabbed her without thinking. After the rescue, however, he begins to feel that he is special and that he has a talent for saving people. Shusterman has written a complex, multilayered novel disguised as a boy's fantasy/adventure story. Nick is a natural-sounding, recognizable high school sophomore who has trouble in school and feels insecure about girls until the fateful day of the rescue. He then becomes a celebrity and starts dating the beautiful daughter of one of New York's richest men. Events happen quickly, and readers are carried along by the short, suspense-building sentences. New York City itself is described in detail, and readers are given a real sense of the muck found under subway tracks, the changing face of a neighborhood as a high-rise building springs up, and the relentless parade of small tragedies New Yorkers may witness daily. Nick and his friend Marco are exceptionally well developed, but the female characters are not so carefully drawn. References to current figures such as Trump and diver Greg Louganis may date the story, but they are not overly distracting. The ending leaves several issues unresolved, but Shusterman has given YAs much material for contemplation. Full of action and symbolism, this is a book both students and teachers will love. --Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, County of Henrico Public Library--Fairfield Area Library, Richmond, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Mass Market Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689873484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689873485
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,443,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Neal Shusterman is the author of many novels for young adults, including Unwind, which was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers, Everlost, and Downsiders, which was nominated for twelve state reading awards. He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows such as Animorphs and Goosebumps. The father of four children, Neal lives in southern California.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#80 in Books > Teens
#80 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on February 12, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For Nicholas "Nicky" Herrera, his life is simply defined by getting through the day. His very Catholic mother has a habit of reminding him how much he's like his older brother, Salvatore. His police officer father tries to keep the family peace. His other brother, Paulie, is the smart one. For Nick, who is barely making it through the tenth grade, he's finally decided that there's nothing more in his future than surviving, and possibly working at the docks or in sanitation like the goals of his best friend, Marco.

Until one day, Nick rescues a little girl from the tracks of the subway. Suddenly, he's a hero, and every quarter he tosses keeps coming up heads. When he garners the attention of Linda Lanko, the daughter of the richest developer in New York, he realizes that there might be a purpose to his life after all. Rescue opportunities are now popping up all over, and word-of-mouth throughout the city has turned Nick into a modern-day hero of Superman proportions.

Nick's heroism, of course, brings him all sorts of problems that he never even imagined. While on one hand his life now seems charmed, his personal relationships--with his family, with Marco, with Linda--are taking twists and turns into unfamiliar territory.

Then tragedy strikes a number of devastating blows all in quick succession, and Nick realizes that being a hero isn't all it's cracked up to be. Who is Nick Herrera, really, and what's his purpose in life? It's suddenly the most important thing in his life to figure it out, and the way he does that will leave the reader breathless.

SPEEDING BULLET is a compelling, quick read that had me staying up late to finish it. You won't be disappointed when you pick up your own copy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Do you like good books with no horror in them? Well, if so, this is the book you need to read. Do you like rescues? This book is full of rescues. This is one of the best books I have ever read. It is a great book!It is full of adventure and action. This book can be read by all ages. The adventure starts out at the beginning and it gets better as the book goes on. If you have ever dreamed of being a hero, if you have ever dreamed of tempting fate, or leaving a decision to the flip of a coin, then here is the perfect book for you. It will keep you on edge from the first page until the last. Once you start reading it you won't want to put it down!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "rockangel4e33" on July 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I read this book when i was about in 6th grade and read it a couple times each year i was in middle school. Now im a sophomore in high school and missing this book. So i bought it used i love it so much! Its great and it really grabs your attention. There aren't many slow parts. I really reccomend this book to anyone who can get their hands on in. Its not a disappointment!
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