professornana (professornana) wrote,

Lisa Yee hits WARP SPEED

I opened the box of books we receive as we walk into the ALAN Workshop and went right to work unpacking all of the titles. Since publishers are so kind to me and send me tons of books, I make it my goal to remove all books I have already received and then find some deserving folks who will not mind schlepping them home or paying to ship them home. As it turns out, two of them sat in front of me. They saw my stacks and were comparing them to the books they had (not all boxes have the same books). I indicated the big stack (I held back only 5 books) and told them to take books they wanted. Wish I had a photo of the faces of complete incredulity. Rather a Candid Camera Moment as they were trying to figure out if I were for reals. Each took A book. When I offered more, they took a second book. Finally, they caught on and all books disappeared (including one I was holding back but one of them was soooo pitiful, I gave in).

Later in the day, I missed getting an ARC of the new Lisa Yee book and this wonderful person who had helped add to her collection went and found one for me. Bless her heart. So here is the new Lisa Yee:

WARP SPEED by Lisa Yee (Arthur A Lvine Books, March 2011) has guest appearances by Stanford Wong, Emily Ebers and even Millicent Min. However, front and center is Marley Sandelski, Mr. Invisible (think Cellophane Man from Chicago but in middle school where no one is completely invisible).

Marley has a friend he hangs out with at lunch. They share some interests and are members of the AV Club. You know these guys, right? I sure did as a middle school teacher. Enter into the duo a third party, Max. All outcasts, all bullied for being different, something that we do not permit in middle school. One good thing: Marley has learned how to run FAST to escape the Gorns (they come in sizes) and Digger Ronster.

Lest you think there is no hope for Marley and pals, let me assure you that there is some light though the tunnel is long and is followed by another tunnel and another and another. Such is real life. Yee does not shy away from the realities of bullying. There are no neat saving moments that make us suspend our disbelief. Instead, there are good friends, new friends, supportive parents, some great teachers (including a new one that is so perfectly shiny and new and trying too hard) and funny moments. In other words, this is Lisa Yee we are talking about. Warm, funny, approachable, frank. Lots more adjectives would come to mind if I were not on the first cup of coffee. I adore the arguments among Marley and his pals about which is better: Star Wars, Star Trek, Batman...And Marley keeps a captain's log that provides some nice insight into his feelings and fears and joys. Place your orders for this one now. Make it so (OK, I know that is Piccard, but you get the drift). <518>
Tags: bullies, early teens, humor, tween

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