NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue and Defense Society. Now, that’s a good acronym. Writer Michael Buckley’s series about a super spy group of odd characters with strange, nerdy powers is an action-filled romp that feels like a kid version of James Bond. There are now three books in the series, and I finally got around to reading the first one (after being pressed by a student, who assured me I would like it. Do they see me as a Nerd?)
The story is about Jackson Jones, a former athlete and cool kid, who becomes part of a group of spies, made up of all the kids he used to pick on and bully when he was cool. Buckley keeps the pedal to the metal in this story, although we do get the predictable story of Jackson earning the trust of his fellow Nerdians (it helps when you save the world and rescue them from the clutches of the evil nemesis). What I liked most is the mix of adventure and humor that Buckley injects into the story. It is quite witty, and you can see how Buckley set up the entire series in this first novel.
And it’s nice that Buckley has carved out a cool zone for the nerds of the world. But we all know, nerds now rule, right? All technological innovation is coming from the heads and skills of the same kids we used to ostracize as geeks and outcasts. Here, they emerge as saviors of the entire world and the last best hope for mankind.
I love this quote from one of the characters, as they explain this shift to Jackson:
“The dorks, the dweebs, goobers and spazzes that you picked on are the ones who will grow up to discover the vaccines, write the great novels, push the boundaries of science and technology, and invent things that makes people healthier and happier. Nerds change the world.” (p. 190)
That says it all. NERDS is fun reading.
Peace (in the shift),