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Review: WARP SPEED by Lisa Yee

Review: WARP SPEED by Lisa Yee

I fell in love with Lisa Yee’s writing when I read MILLICENT MIN, GIRL GENIUS years ago. Since then, I’ve shared her novels with my students and they love them, too. Fortunately for us, she has graced her readers with a steady supply of great material over the years. Her latest, WARP SPEED, continues the laughter by focusing on one of the characters introduced in MILLICENT, Marley Sandelski.

Marley is the quintessential middle-school geek: a member of the AV Club, a Star Trek fanatic, and the target of bullies. He goes beyond the stereotypical character, however, with the close relationships he has in his life. The bond between Marley and his parents is a special one. Even when Marley is annoyed with them, their love for one another shines through. Best of all, the parents are layered characters, strong people with believable flaws.


Another focus is his friendship with AV Club members: Ramen, his good friend; and Max, the new kid. While they split hairs over the superiority of Star Trek vs. Star Wars (and a little Batman thrown in for good measure), the three friends have each other’s backs…most of the time. WARP SPEED has layered subplots, too, in both the home and school settings. Woven into the mix is the mystery of Marley’s missing diary (aka Captain’s Log) and whether the culprit will use the information against our ill-treated main character. Yee skillfully blends all of the pieces into a fast-paced read.

Author Lisa Yee writes with humor-filled honesty – from the angst of Marley’s crush on Emily, to his dealings with bullies in the group he calls Gorn, and his run-ins with his chief nemesis, Digger Ronster. In middle schools everywhere, students deal with bullying on different levels, and Marley represents “everyman”. WARP SPEED would be a fantastic classroom read aloud, as the humor and real-life situations will keep students interested, while Yee’s straightforward treatment of bullying would lead to some valuable classroom discussions. Sprinkled among the laughs are some powerful moments when painful secrets are revealed.

I already have a list of kids in my class who want to read WARP SPEED, as I book-talked it last week! Be sure to include it in your classroom, library, or give it as a gift to the readers in your life!

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NOTE: Teachers, parents, and administrators should read WARP SPEED to see if they recognize themselves and the solutions some adults come up with to stop the bullying problems plaguing students.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
marjorielight
Dec. 31st, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
Good Question!
No, I don't think that's a weird question at all...it's very normal. Unfortunately, I'm out of the country until Monday, so I can't fact check the book in my class. Do you need to know before then? If I remember correctly, I believe Millicent and Marley don't have sparks flying between them. If you need to know before Monday, I can ask a few people for you to see if I can get an answer.
Thanks for reading my review!
:-)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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