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Warp Speed Hardcover – March 1, 2011

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

As he starts seventh grade, Marley Sidelski knows he is a loser. A Star Trek geek, he hangs out with other sci-fi tech nerds, and he gets beaten up by bullies, including Digger, who steals Marley�s homework and copies his tests. The cast is huge in Yee�s fourth stand-alone book about the kids of Rancho Rosetta Middle School, from the nerds and dorks to the in-group members, and the sheer number of characters may feel overwhelming. But Marley�s funny, present-tense narrative will hold readers with its moving realism about friends and enemies. Marley may not be able to catch a ball, but his coach shows him that he can run, and he wins a race, even if he feels he is running away from trouble more than towards the finish line. Most touching is the way Yee humanizes the bully. As the principal drones on with fake platitudes about tolerance, Marley discovers Digger�s brutal secret and helps him. The fast action, with lots of bloody fights, will hold readers, who will stay for the authentic resolution. Grades 4-7. --Hazel Rochman

Review

Praise for Lisa Yee:

"An outstanding, very funny novel that both adults and 11- to 13-year-olds will enjoy." —Nancy Pearl, NPR, on Millicent Min, Girl Genius

"There aren't many authors who can bring energy to the same basic story three times running, but Yee manages to do it." —Booklist on So Totally Emily Ebers

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 620L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545122767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545122764
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #909,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lorel Shea VINE VOICE on March 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lisa Yee has a great talent for bringing characters to life. My family encountered her work years ago with the first book in the Rancho Rosetta series, "Millicent Min, Girl Genius". Yee has also written several of the American Girl stories, including those about Kanani, the 2011 Girl of the Year doll.

Warp Speed is all about a middle school boy named Marley Sandelski. Marley lives above the Rialto Theater, wears second hand clothes, adores Star Trek (OS- the original series) and thinks Emily Ebers is really, really, really nice. He argues the merits of Star Trek vs. Star Wars with his good friend Ramen, and then ST vs SW vs Batman once Max moves in and joins the AV club. He also does his best to outrun the bullies who plague his existence. Marley begins the school year feeling invisible, but learns that he has many reasons to feel good about himself and that maybe he can even be an inspiration to other kids on the fringe. Yee does a superb job of getting into the minds of middle school kids and even her bullies end up looking like real kids with individual problems rather than 2 dimensional cutouts. It's all in the details. Marley spouts Klingon when he's nervous (my husband tells me that the phrases included are the real deal!) and carries ST action figures in his pocket for good luck. Ramen earned his nickname for the noodles he eats for lunch every day, and hasn't grown an inch in the last two years. Max is a mysterious newcomer who knows just what to do when an emergency occurs.

Fans of Millicent Min, Stanford Wong, and Emily Ebers will love this book, but you don't need to have read their stories to appreciate Marley's story. I hope that we'll have more Rancho Rosetto stories- in particular, I'd love to read a book about Max!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on August 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Marley is an expert on Star Trek - TSO (the Original Series), AV equipment, and bullying. He's a seventh grader who recognizes his place in the school social network - Geek with a capital G. He's not alone. Ramen, Troy, and Patrick are also fellow geeks and members of the AV Club. There's also a new member named Max who turns out to be quite a surprise.

Now that the AV Club has been awarded the status of an actual class at Rancho Rosetta Middle School, the group at least has a place to feel safe once a day. They have fun learning about AV equipment and being the minds behind the real workings of the school. Without their expertise, teachers would have malfunctioning computers, tangled film projectors, and DVD players with no sound. Marley feels comfortable with the equipment and happy arguing with his friends about which is best - Star Trek or Star Wars.

Before and after school is a different story for Marley. He is the target for every bully in the school. He is so used to being punched, shoved in his locker, and chased home by the biggest jerks in the school that he has come to expect nothing less. Reporting the harassment is not an option, since the school principal doesn't even know his name and his parents have problems of their own.

Marley lives in an ancient movie theater called the Rialto. His father doesn't like going out in public and chooses to spend his time running the theater, which is pretty much a losing proposition. Marley's mother is blind. Despite her challenging disability, she teaches piano lessons, cooks wonderful meals, and spends her free time playing golf. Marley knows his folks love him, but he doesn't feel he can share his troubles with them since they have so many of their own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marjorie Light on March 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
WARP SPEED by Lisa Yee

I fell in love with Lisa Yee's writing when I read MILLICENT MIN, GIRL GENIUS years ago. Since then, I've shared her novels with my students and they love them, too. Fortunately for us, she has graced her readers with a steady supply of great material over the years. Her latest, WARP SPEED, continues the laughter by focusing on one of the characters introduced in MILLICENT, Marley Sandelski.

Marley is the quintessential middle-school geek: a member of the AV Club, a Star Trek fanatic, and the target of bullies. He goes beyond the stereotypical character, however, with the close relationships he has in his life. The bond between Marley and his parents is a special one. Even when Marley is annoyed with them, their love for one another shines through. Best of all, the parents are layered characters, strong people with believable flaws.

Another focus is his friendship with AV Club members: Ramen, his good friend; and Max, the new kid. While they split hairs over the superiority of Star Trek vs. Star Wars (and a little Batman thrown in for good measure), the three friends have each other's backs...most of the time. WARP SPEED has layered subplots, too, in both the home and school settings. Woven into the mix is the mystery of Marley's missing diary (aka Captain's Log) and whether the culprit will use the information against our ill-treated main character. Yee skillfully blends all of the pieces into a fast-paced read.

Author Lisa Yee writes with humor-filled honesty - from the angst of Marley's crush on Emily, to his dealings with bullies in the group he calls Gorn, and his run-ins with his chief nemesis, Digger Ronster. In middle schools everywhere, students deal with bullying on different levels, and Marley represents "everyman".
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