Word Spelunking

NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society - Michael Buckley, Ethen Beavers Michael Buckley's first book in his N.E.R.D.S (National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society) series was an absolute and complete joy to read! I went into this book not sure sure what to expect, and what I got was a wild bucket of awesomeness.The NERDS are a secret organization made up of children spies. But these aren't just any children, these are the nerdy, unpopular kids. The ones who get teased and bullied the most. So, it would seem strange that once popular and King Bully, Jackson Jones becomes a NERDS agent, but he does. And he discovers the secret lab hidden under the elementary school, where the NERDS are trained and enhanced with super abilities. The other NERDS agents aren't thrilled with Jackson joining them, but they must all band together to stop the evil Dr. Jigsaw from destroying the world. Which is way harder than it sounds, especially when former beauty pageant queen turned deadly twelve year old assassin, The Hyena, is working for Jigsaw.This book is over the top fun (in the best way possible) and chock full of adventure, thrills, cool gadgets, and humor. With non-stop action, awesome characters, and superb storytelling, NERDS is an un-put-downable middle-grade read.NERDS is like an awesome kiddie version of a mash-up of James Bond films, Kick-Ass, and Veronica Mars (again, a very age appropriate mash-up)...which, is pretty epic, right? Michael Buckley has spun a spy story that readers of all ages will love. The spy gadgets and gizmos are wicked cool, the spy assignments are thrillingly dangerous, the villains are perfectly vile and the twists are extra twisty. I found myself completely addicted to this book and excited to turn each page.This book is all about the nerd power! I LOVE that the butt-kicking, super-powered heroes are the misfit, outcast kids. This sends such an empowering and awesome message to young readers who feel like they don't fit in or belong. And the five original NERDS (Gluestick, Pufferfish, Choppers, Wheezer, and Flinch) are the coolest bunch of nerd, geeks, dweebs, and spazzes you'll ever meet. And each agent's super spy abilities and powers come directly from what others see as their weaknesses, which again, is not only cool, but empowering. The NERDS are wonderfully multicultural with distinct, unique personalities, and readers will have no problem connecting with and identifying with at least one character.In the middle of all the fun, humor, mystery, spy thrills and danger, is also a great, heartfelt message about bullying and respect.Ethen Beavers' comic book style illustrations are just as awesome as the story itself, and add a whole new layer of epicness.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Nerds everywhere unite! NERDS is such fantastic fun and stellar spy storytelling. I loved every minute of this book and can't wait to read the rest of the series! A MUST read middle-grade book!

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