Monday, June 20, 2011

Warp Speed by Lisa Yee

OK, I admit it, I'm a Trekkie. Which is the reason I could not pass up reading the new novel by Lisa Yee about another Trekkie - Marley Sandelski. Marley is entering seventh grade and he is a member of the A-V Club, whose other members are also dedicated to Star Trek, Star Wars, and Batman. To the other kids in school they are most definitely misunderstood and probably perceived as a little strange.

Much of what happens to Marley and his friends is funny and I found myself giggling at what he wrote each day in his Captain Log journal. And I found myself identifying with the way he perceives life going on around him as he tries to be logical and cool like his favorite character, Spock.

Marley's parents own a old run-down movie theater that shows classic movies to mostly empty seats. Marley and his parents live upstairs above the theater, although Marley has a secret hideaway downstairs in an old prop room full of costumes.

Unfortunately, Marley has also attracted the attention of some big-time bullies. I must confess, I found these bullies particularly troubling. Although they were seriously physical in their bullying, I think we have more trouble with emotional and cyber bullying in school. I was also distressed that Marley's parents and teachers weren't more aware of what was going on and that he never felt safe in telling them.

Marley and his friends go to the same middle school featured in author Lisa Yee's other novels - and the same characters weave their way in and out of the stories and this one, as well. Millicent Min, Girl Genius; Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time and So Totally Emily Ebers all tell the story of the same summer - but from three different points of view. You don't need to read them in any particular order at all. To get a preview of the other three books in this series, watch author Lisa Yee describe each title in the video below. I do know, after you read Warp Speed, you will want to know more about these characters.