Wendelin Van Draanen; Brian Biggs (Illustrator)
Now that he is in fifth grade, Nolan Byrd—called Byrd-the-Nerd by his arch enemy, his lying, cheating, stealing, bullying classmate, Bubba— would love to do something about Bubba. Problem: Nolan is half Bubba's size, and, as he says, "I don't exactly want to die in elementary school." Nolan's teacher, Mr. Green, has a ponytail, plays guitar, and wears jeans and sandals to school. (Bubba calls him the Happy Hippie.) Every month, Mr. Green gives the kids a creative project to do. Nolan loves math and computers. He hates creative projects. This month's project, though, is right up Nolan's alley. They have to design their own newspaper page and write about an injustice, and they can use their computers. Watching Bubba steal Miriam Whipple's assignment page, Nolen gets an idea. He'll do a report on injustice, all right. Assuming a cybersuperhero secret identify, Nolan sets up a website, Shredderman.com, and posts photos of Bubba in action, doing wrong.
A fast and funny story of the triumph of the nerds, this is the first of a four-book series with real kid appeal. Find activities and fun at the Shredderman website
Reviewed by : JF.
Themes : BULLIES. HEROES. SCHOOLS & SCHOOL STORIES. TEACHERS.
CRITICS HAVE SAID
- This entertaining story of an egghead who cannot keep his shoes tied who uses his brains to triumph over the worst bully in school will keep even reluctant readers laughing and wanting more stories about this cyber superhero. Droll, black-and-white cartoons are a perfect accompaniment to the clever text.
–Edward Sullivan, School Library Journal
- Three cheers for Shredderman! Van Draanen has created a “superhero” who speaks wonderfully to all the underdogs out there looking for justice. Kids will surely be looking to devour more episodes, and Brian Biggs’s wacky illustrations make for an on-target complement.
–Matt Warner, The Barnes & Noble Review
- Short page count, plenty of illustrations, and an intriguing method of solving the age-old bully problem make this an involving book for younger readers who will look forward to more books in this series.
–Susie Wilde, Children
- Biggs contributes sketchy “Beavis and Butthead”-style vignettes; the author adds a supporting cast of unconventional characters, and pushes off a rolling tangle of subplots to set the stage for further exploits from “Shredderman.” They should get an enthusiastic welcome.
IF YOU LOVE THIS BOOK, THEN TRY:
Buehner, Caralyn. Superdog: The Heart of a Hero. HarperCollins, 2004. ISBN-10: 0066236207
Greene, Stephanie. Owen Foote, Frontiersman. Clarion, 1996. ISBN-13: 978-0395615782
Pinkwater, Daniel.Looking for Bobowitz. HarperCollins, 2004. ISBN-13: 9780060535551
Sachar, Louis. Marvin Redpost: Alone in His Teacher’s House. Random House, 1994. ISBN-13: 978-0747562795
Van Draanen, Wendelin. Shredderman 2: Attack of the Tagger. Knopf, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0440419136
Van Draanen, Wendelin. Shredderman 3: Meet the Gecko. Knopf, 2005. ISBN-13: 978-0440419143
Van Draanen, Wendelin. Shredderman 4: Enemy Spy. Knopf, 2005. ISBN-13: 978-0440419150
Weigel, Jeff. Atomic Ace (He’s Just My Dad). Albert Whitman, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0807532171