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NERDS

nerds_ya_nerds nerds_ya_cheer nerds_ya_bullies nerds_ya_mamas nerds_ya_virus
 
Full Name: NERDS
Nationality: American
Organization: NERDS
Occupation Agency

Creator: Michael Buckley
Time Span: 2009 - 2013

ABOUT THE SERIES

NERDS is an spy agency.

The acronym stands for the National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society. That name is kinda cool sounding, at least until you work out the acronym, which we started with so you do not have to, and then you see, as the Director admits, is "unfortunate". To me making it even worse is the fact that people writing it never, ever use periods between the letters so it stops being like an acronym and more like someone shouting the wordl

To understand the reason for the existence of NERDS, we are given a brief history of spies throughout, well, history and how they were really cool and all that. At least up until the creation of the computer and the super cool gadgets people started making with new technology and then finding out that the operatives in the field were oh so bad with using them and tons of bad things happened all the time. So the question became how to use these breakthroughs to help with spy stuff if those using them were either really bad at it or just plain scared.

The solution came with the realization that "there was only one group of people in the country with no fear of technology: children. The government quickly realized the advantages of recruiting children to do clandestine work. They are small, and adults often ignore them and underestimate their abilities and intelligence. In other words, children make great spies. So, in 1977, the government formed the NERDS."

"Membership in the organization follows strict rules. Only a child can be an agent. Each agent is retired from active duty at the age of eighteen. No one can know of the NERDS' existence. Their work is done in secret."

That is when we are allowed to meet the current set of NERDS, a team of eleven-year-old super spies who have not only embraced the tech, they have been major-league amped up with nanotechnology which gives them really cool abilities. The team members are:

Duncan 'Gluestick' Dewey: He's a paste-eater who can stick to walls.
Ruby 'Pufferfish' Peet: Her allergies help her detect danger and dishonesty.
Heathcliff 'Choppers' Hodges: He controls minds with his buckteeth.
Julio 'Flinch' Escala: His hyperactivity gives him super speed and strength.
Matilda Wheezer Choi: Her inhalers enable her to fly and blast enemies.
Jackson 'Braceface' Jones, the new recruit. This metal mouth is the team's go-to gadget guy . . . if only he can get over becoming a NERD.

It is important to make special note of the last person on that list, Jones. When we first encounter him, he is not a nerd - he is an anti-nerd, aka a jock, and he has a particular nasty attitude towards any and all nerds, especially the ones in his school. That is Nathan Hale Elementary, in case you were wondering. At that facility he was the hippest of dudes; everyone (minus the nerds) loved him, even the teachers. Until the dentist visit. Then major work was needed followd by ... braces!! We're talking big time metal "protruded out of his mouth and encircled his head like Saturn's rings". And it was magnetic, so wow!

He was not chosen, really, to become a NERDS operative, he kinda just discovered the truth then, well, maybe you should read the stories.

YOUNG ADULT BOOKS

Number of Books:5
First Appearance:2009
Last Appearance:2013

This five-adventure series is intended for audiences 8-12 years of age, grade levels 3-7.


1 National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society
Written by Michael Buckley
Copyright: 2009

"Jackson Jones, 11, transitions from Mr. Popular to complete loser in the time it takes to be fitted for braces with headgear. He soon happens upon the underground headquarters of a group of outcasts called NERDS, who, with the help of technology "upgrades," turn weaknesses like allergies into superpowers, fighting crime in secret until the age of 18. While trying to escape, Jackson himself is accidentally upgraded—his braces become equipped with tiny nanobytes capable of morphing into any object. Asked to join the NERDS, Jackson quickly learns that not everyone wants him around—especially those he used to pick on."
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2 M Is for Mama's Boy M Is for Mama's Boy
Written by Michael Buckley
Copyright: 2010

"The last time we met the NERDS, a team of superspies operating out of their school basement, they were using their high-tech abilities to stop an evil genius from destroying the world. Now they’re up against one of their own—a former teammate determined to destroy them. His unlikely henchman? A computer genius who still lives with his mom.
The evil duo manage to strip the spies of their incredible abilities. Can Duncan “Gluestick” Dewey and the rest of the NERDS team fight evil using just old-fashioned bravery and smarts?"
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3 The Cheerleaders of Doom The Cheerleaders of Doom
Written by Michael Buckley
Copyright: 2011

"A former NERDS team member named Gerdie (code name Mathlete) has invented a powerful device that she's using to loot alternate realities. Her goal? Plastic surgery and a spot on a competitive cheerleading squad. Gerdie's device is causing rips in the fabric of the universe. With her new face, no one can find her. It's up to Matilda "Wheezer" Choi to infiltrate the cheerleading squad and root out the villain. But can she give up punches and pro wrestling for claps and cartwheels?"
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4 The Villain Virus The Villain Virus
Written by Michael Buckley
Copyright: 2012

"Supervillain (and former NERD) Heathcliff Hodges transformed himself into an all-powerful giant head, and now he’s unconscious in the HQ basement, where he can’t cause any more trouble . . . right? Though Heathcliff’s knocked out, the villain population skyrockets in just a few short days. Normal people get a cold and then suddenly develop insane alter egos and come up with elaborate plans to take over the world. Even the NERDS are vulnerable to the spread of villainy—all except hyperactive Julio “Flinch” Escala. But he’s never led the team before. Can he focus on more than his next candy bar . . . and save the world?"
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5 Attack of the Bullies Attack of the Bullies
Written by Michael Buckley
Copyright: 2013

Ruby Peet, aka Agent Pufferfish, is the team captain with super nanobyte-enhanced allergies. Pufferfish leads the team in their latest case: the kidnapping of the president’s daughter. But the NERDS discover she hasn’t been kidnapped—she’s been recruited. Their former librarian, Ms. Holiday, has started a rival organization called BULLIES, who each have their own nanobyte-enhanced upgrades. The BULLIES’ plan: go back in time to make sure NERDS never existed!"
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MY COMMENTS

It is the dream of lots of young kids to be super-cool and to have neat gadgets and to do awesome things and all that. Okay, it is the dream of really old adults like myself, too, except I know I'd hurt myself really bad if I tried.

Luckily, these kids do not know the danger and ... oops! I forgot they were fictional.

I think if I were a kid I would like this series. As I am not, I had trouble with parts of it, especially the whole 'parents never listen and never believe you' bits.

But the stories are fun and fast reading and really okay for the target age group.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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