M is For Mama’s Boy

NERDS: Book Two: M Is for Mama's Boyby Michael Buckley

If you could have your weakness upgraded and turned into a super power, what strength do you think you would have?

I came to the NERDS series just as the fourth had been published.  I have a hard time with name calling even if it’s supposed to be funny.  I know – snap judgments are not usually accurate – but I passed these books by in the bookstore with just a glance.  Then Ellie started reading them.  “Read from here to here,” she’d say.  “It’s funny.”  She was right.  It was.  While she was enjoying books one, two and three, talk of The Sisters Grimm series was filling our classroom.  That’s when I noticed they had the same author.  I loved his writing in the Sisters Grimm books.  “Okay,” I thought.  “Time to give this a chance.  It’s obviously not what you thought.”

I read the first as summer vacation started and just finished M is for Mama’s Boy, the second this week.  The third and fourth are sitting in one of my to-be-read piles.  I’ll get to them soon.  The NERDS are school-aged secret agents who save the world.  Selected for the team because of their unique qualities, these perceived weaknesses have been highlighted and upgraded with nanotechnology to create super skills.  Together the team has the resources and abilities to save the world from every and any super villain.  The villain in this case is Simon.  He has reappeared with squirrel squadron to do his bidding – along with one Goon.

When the robberies begin happening there is no sense of urgency.  Just another bad guy to be stopped, but Albert Nesbitt notices something odd.  He spends his time locked in the basement of his mother’s house watching TV, building computers, reading graphic novels and dreaming of becoming a super hero.  Albert dreams of doing good in the world and of becoming Captain Justice.  Somehow his dream is twisted around and he becomes entangled with Simon, the evil genius bent on humiliating the NERDS and taking over the world by controlling every computer on Earth.

In disabling Earth’s computers, Simon also disables the super power upgrades of the NERDS.  That’s especially challenging for Duncan, a.k.a. Gluestick.  Always a thoughtful, kind person, Duncan isn’t sure he has any worth without his special powers or his gadgets and gizmos.  Duncan loses confidence.  He’s sure he can’t do anything.  He can’t fit in even when he is trying to be “normal.”  But, he realizes he also can’t sit around and see his family threatened or let his friends face life-threatening danger alone.  Can “ordinary “save the world?  Maybe.  You’ll have to read M is for Mama’s Boy to find out.

Morpheus Road: The Black



At the end of The Light, Marsh and Sydney discover that the real reason behind their hallucinations is a spirit named Damon, a soldier who fought with Alexander who wants to prove himself. Marsh and Sydney also discovered that Cooper was a spirit, and he had been given permission to be able to be seen by Marsh and Sydney to help them through the crisis with Damon. Now there is a different twist on the story. It’s from Cooper’s perspective.

Cooper tells the story of how he died and he finds himself in Stony Brook, his hometown, but it is filled with people who have passed away. He meets up with his deceased grandfather and he tells Coop all about where he is. He is in his vision, in the Black. This book is a big mix of ghosts, twists, battles and supernatural stuff, and it creates an AWESOME book! D.J. MacHale applies his same style of writing of Pendragon to make a book with something that science-fiction and just about any reader will like.

Click on the book cover to go to D.J. MacHale’s website. He is even involved with producing TV shows as well as writing books!

(Click on the Amazon.com logo to buy the book.)

George and the Big Bang

George and the Big Bangan exciting exploration of space and emerging science

while you don’t have to have read the first two books in the series there are pieces for each of the first two books wrapped into the story of the third.  If you know about Dr. Reeper and Pookie, Cosmos and the real cosmic adventures you’ll enjoy this book even more.

In this third science adventure George finds himself surrounded by change.  Freddy really has gotten too big for the backyard.  His new baby sisters are loud and demanding – twins take both parents.  Annie has some new friends and George doesn’t know quite where he fits in anymore. On top of that Eric has the opportunity to begin working on one of the biggest science experiments of all time. He’s going to be working at the Large Hadron Collider to explore the earliest moments of the Universe – the big bang.

It would be a dream job, but TOERAG (‘Theory of Everything Resists Addition of Gravity’) an anti-science group of protesters, are claiming the Collider will create a black hole and destroy the world. Everything is not as it seems – is anything ever?  George and Annie discover a plot to try and destroy the experiment and the collider and cause a huge set back for all science. George and Annie have to find a way to outwit this group intent on stopping the experiment forever. Will they be in time to expose the plot and keep Eric safe?  Of course – but it is great fun discovering how they do it and learning some of the science that is currently being discovered and explored.  The mix of story and science (though some of that science is pretty dense!) make George and the Big Bang a great book to read and explore.  Read all three and find someone to discuss the science essays with even further.  It is especially fun to explore information about space at George’s website.  Enjoy!

The Hero for Wondla

A Hero For WondLa (WondLa, #2)by Tony Diterlizi

437 pages of adventurous questioning

Summertime!  At last I have read the sequel to Tony Diterlizzi’s science fiction novel, The Search for WondLa and I liked it even more than the first.  This book continues all that was well done in the first and adds details to the plot, deepens the history surrounding the story and adds depth to the characters. The author continues to grow his wonderful world, building on the science and humnity that must coexist.  There is a real sense of danger and menace in this book created through the actions and choices the humans that Eva Nine, at long last, eagerly meets.  You’ll be wondering, “how can this be?” at the same time you’re thinking, “of course that is how it is, just look at what we are doing now in our world.”

A Hero for Wondla starts off where the last story ended when the human pilot, Hailey Turner, arrives claiming to have come to bring Eva home. Wise, loyal Rovee agrees to join her on this fantastic journey.  He believes his place is by Eva’s side.  Although Eva occasionally finds Hailey irritating, her excitement at meeting another of her kind quells these feelings. He promises to bring her to the human city, but first stops at his settlement outside.  Here Eva meets Hailey’s wise grandfather.  His stories ignite the flicker of a doubt in Eva, but those questions soon disappear when the glitter and color of New Attica surrounds her. Through her omnipod, one little machine, all of Eva’s history is known in the city.  Because of this she is able to get all she wants and needs, and yet, something does not feel right.  Even though Eva is surrounded by her kind and seems to have everything she has ever wanted, she longs for Rovee and his advice. She finds herself alone and afraid, confused and conflicted.

Eva wonders why there are no aliens in this city.  Why do some in the city have everything, while others have nothing?  Why is Eva the only human who knows that something good exists beyond the city’s dome?  Why is what exists in the city untrue and so controling? She wonders if she should follow laws to have what she needs if it feels all wrong.  Eva knows she is part of the human clan, but her experiences have helped her evolve into something more.  It is this difference will save Orbana, the planet Earth has become.  What can Eva Nine do for Earth, for  Orbana?    It is not knowledge of the past, awareness of the future or strength.  It takes time to show, but in the end it is the only thing that matters.

Enjoy The Hero for Wondla.  I hope you will show yourself to be the Eva among us!  What courage and calm.


DivergentDivergent (Divergent, #1)

by Veronica Roth

YA – 496 pages exploring a dystopian society – will you find your faction?

At 16 Beatrice must select the faction where she will spend the rest of her life.  She has taken the test, been given her results and now must look deep within herself to make her selection at the Choosing Ceremony.  Having grown up in the gray, selfless faction of Abnigation, Beatrice knows she is not naturally selfless – at least not like her brother.  Where does she fit?  She can stay in her home faction and be with her family, but after 16 years of working to be selfless she feels she is not enough for that choice.  She knows she does not fit with the truthful Candor; she is able to cover up too many truths.  She does not belong with the Amnity; caring and kindness do not guide her life.  She is not a better-than-all, intelligent Erudite.  Her remaining choice is Dauntless.  Is she brave enough to risk all to protect others? Beatrice  has to decide what she believes, what kind of person she is and where to shed her blood.  When the blade is passed into her hand she slices her palm and puts it above the bowl of her choice- the place where she will live the rest of her life.  With her selection, Tris comes face to face with the realities of living an honest, purposeful life where bravery and intelligent choices become the most compassionate, selfless acts of all.

What does it mean to live well?

What faction would give you purpose?

How would you choose to live?

Read more about author, Veronica Roth and how she created the world and characters in Divergent in this GoodReads interview.  How is it that we are the people we become?  How aware are we of the choices we make and of the consequences of the life we choose to lead?  It certainly makes you think.