Warp Speed

Lisa Yee, Scholastic/Levine, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-545-12276-4
Yee (Bobby the Brave [Sometimes]) offers another empathetic portrayal of an outsider with unique attributes in this story about seventh-grader Marley Sandelski, an admitted geek, who loves Star Trek, old movies, and his Technical Sciences class. Having been spit on, punched, and stuffed in his locker, he spends a lot of time running from trouble; when Coach Martin notices his speed, Marley receives an enticing offer to join the track team. Becoming a runner would earn him popularity points in a school where "jocks rule," but Marley isn't sure he has the killer instinct to compete ("Being on the track team is all about winning, which means that someone would have to lose"). Featuring appearances from some of Yee's previous heroes and heroines—Millicent Min, Stanford Wong, and Emily Ebers—this slice-of-life novel focuses on themes that will likely hit home with readers. If Marley's athletic ability appears too large for life (given the fact he has earned the reputation of being a klutz in P.E. and is usually picked last for teams), his internal conflicts and emotions ring true. Ages 10–13. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/17/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Paperback - 310 pages - 978-0-545-15400-0
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