Rainie Wong
Grade 5
Kaneohe Elementary

“NERDS” by Michael Buckley used creative characterization, fantastic figurative language, and cool conflicts that won this book the Nene Award. The scene that I chose is when Jackson begins training to become a nerd. He thinks that he can outdo whatever the machine and the team throws at him. Michael Buckley uses humor and creativity to spin up an awesome chapter.

“Jackson met Flinch in the parking lot of the school. One nerd’s face was covered in caramel, and there was a dozen or so candy bar wrappers lying at his feet. He had a cup of convenience store soda in his hand that was bigger than the size of his head. He was also trembling with caffienated joy.” What amazing characterization of Flinch. When I read this, I cracked up! (Mainly because it was hilarious , but also because I can relate to Julio; I enjoy drinking coffee, eating sugar, and gulping down fizzy soda!) I can immediately infer that Flinch has a very fun and over-excited mood, almost all the time. All that energy is channeled, through a special harness that he wears to turn hyper-activity into super speed and strength.

Michael Buckley used figurative language by adding in similes, metaphors, idioms in this amazing text. “He pushed a button and the tether-ball lifted off the chain like a curious snake.” This is a simile that really caught my attention. As a reader, I could just imagine what that looked like. The tether-ball swaying-as if it were alive- a small , rusty metal chain for a slithery body, and a soft spongy ball for a head. I thought, “Wow, how does Michael Buckley do that? Make an ordinary sentence into something so fabulous!

Then, Michael Buckley strikes again with his wonderful writing, and captured my interest with a conflict. “Jackson watched as the video showed him dragging Heathcliff down the dirty hallway by his feet. Ashamed, Jackson looked across the lawn at his teammates, and for the first time he wasn’t annoyed that they didn’t want to be his friend. He suddenly understood. He didn’t deserve their friendship.” This paragraph explains one of Jackson’s conflicts. Once Jackson joins the team, everyone there seems harsher to him, and more than usual. He didn’t realize that before he had joined, Jackson had been evil by launching attacks on the nerds by using spitballs, atomic wedgies, and irritating nooggies. Now he understands why no one on the team enjoyed his company! Jackson also notices that he appeared to be harassing the nerds’ way before he became unpopular.

I can’t find the tiniest reason why you shouldn’t read this book! (I read this for Literature circles and I read ahead! It was too awesome to resist!) I have some advice... PUT DOWN WHATEVER BOOK YOUR READING AND SMELL THE ROSES!!! READ “NERDS”!!! Michael Buckley’s Award winning book “NERDS” is the ultimate best!!!