On Fridays I like step back and make sure that I am addressing boy readers. It's so easy to review and highlight books for girls, but I also teach boys, so I need to make sure to find books for them!
Today I'm reviewing the audio books for the N.E.R.D.S. series.
Author: Michael Buckley
Combining all the excitement of international espionage and all the awkwardness of elementary school, NERDS, featuring a group of unpopular students who run a spy network from inside their school, hits the mark. With the help of cutting-edge science, their nerdy qualities are enhanced and transformed into incredible abilities! They battle the Hyena, a former junior beauty pageant contestant turned assassin, and an array of James Bond–style villains, each with an evil plan more diabolical and more ridiculous than the last.
Led by Duncan "Gluestick" Dewey, the NERDS team uses brain power and courage rather than gadgets when they face off against supervillian Simon, his band of savage squirrels, and Albert, a middle-aged computer genius who lives with his mother.
What a fun series!!! We've (my 3 kids and I) listened to both on our way to and from school, and we all enjoyed them.
First my thoughts on the books (plot, characters): Each book lets one of the NERD team take the staring role in the story. The first book features Jackson who is just entering the team. We liked Jackson, but my daughter and I were a little annoyed at how long to "get it". You see Jackson was a nerd before. He was cool - popular. Now he can't quite figure out how come the other members of the team are still mad at him for what he did. It took a bit! There wasn't anything like that in the second book which featured Duncan. We really enjoyed him.
As for the plot of each book - great! Perfect for kids who need a fast paced story full of action and laughs. Oh the laughs - we giggled a lot through the book. In the second book there are these squirrels that really made us giggle. It's so rare to find a book that really does make me laugh. I think kids will like it. I know mine did. Both stories have some nice plot twists - especially book #1. Didn't see that coming!
The other characters are great. I love each team member. They are each unique, and I love the diversity in them. It's also really cool how they take their "nerdiness" and turn it into a power. It's cool to turn it around like that. I wish I could have some weakness of mine turned into a power! I can't wait to here more about the rest of the team - especially Matilda who looks to be the star in book #3.
Now for the Narrator: He was great. Did a nice job getting all the voices. There are a lot of different voices he had to do with the team members, their adult leaders and the villains! Each one was distinct and really fit the character. I liked him a lot and would definitely listen to him again.
I have to note that there is always one way I know my 10 year old son is liking the story - when he gets in the car if it isn't playing he'll say "why isn't the book on?". That tells me he's enjoying it. And let me tell you, that's high praise if he likes it!
AND! Elton John's Rocket Pictures has bought the rites to the books to make them into a movie! Read more HERE.
Final Thought: Fun fun fun series that lets the "nerds" be cool and take the lead
Best stick-with-you image: The squirrels in book #2
Best for readers who: Like action and laughing
Best for ages: 9-12
For the guys? YES!!!! They'll love it!