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WARP SPEED by Lisa Yee

WARP SPEED

By Lisa Yee

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-545-12276-4
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Seventh-grader Marley Sandelsky—former friend of Stanford Wong (Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time, 2005, etc.)—is a devoted Star Trek fan; he knows the series so well that he thinks metaphorically about his life in terms of characters and plots from Star Trek. He even speaks Klingon when tongue-tied around new classmate Emily Ebers (So Totally Emily Ebers, 2007, etc.). Marley sees himself as invisible, alone and, worse, an outsider, thrown together with a pack of other misfits, flung to the outer circles of what passes for a social life at his large middle school. He’s got parents who love him—his blind mother is, as Marley puts it, “probably more capable than 99% of the population,” and his reclusive father runs the repertory film theatre in town. But he has a big problem: He’s being bullied from several directions. A trio of boys Marley thinks of as “the Gorn” routinely assaults him, and Digger, the thuggish son of a successful real-estate developer, daily shakes him down for his homework. Still, Marley’s fleet feet, nimble brain and Kirk-like courage help him to extricate himself in the end—with the help of friends he didn’t know he could count on. Yee’s combination of humor and sympathy works a charm here, giving Marley a life of his own and a chance at success in this solid addition to her prismatic look at middle school. (Fiction. 9-12)