Cover image for Secret identity
Title:
Secret identity
Author:
Van Draanen, Wendelin.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
138 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm.
Summary:
Fifth-grader Nolan Byrd, tired of being called names by the class bully, has a secret identity--Shredderman!
Language:
English
Reading Level:
520 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 3.3 2.0 75663.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.7 5 Quiz: 36377 Guided reading level: S.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780375823510

9780375923517
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Alvin Bixby: Hulking, knuckles of steel, hideous breath, foul temper. Kids call him: Bubba. Nolan Byrd: Puny, power walker, math genius, can't keep shoes tied. Kids call him: Nerd. Bubba has been the bane of Nolan's existence for five long years. So when Mr. Green asks the class to become reporters, Nolan decides he'll write an exposé--on Bubba. He doesn't want to sign his name to it (that'd be suicidal), so Nolan creates a secret identity for himself--on the Internet. He launches Shredderman.com as a place where truth and justice prevail--and bullies get what's coming to them. This hilariously triumphant story is for any kid who's ever dreamed of unleashing their own inner superhero! From the Hardcover edition.


Author Notes

Wendelin Van Draanen was born on January 6, 1965 in Chicago, Illinois. She is the daughter of chemists who emigrated from Holland. She worked as a math teacher and then as a computer science teacher before becoming an author. Wendelin Van Draanen began her writing career with a screenplay and soon switched to adult novels and then children's books. She is best known for her Sammy Keyes series of novels, which she started writing in 1997, featuring a teenage detective named Samantha Keyes. Her popular Sammy Keyes series had been nominated four times for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Children's Mystery and won with "Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief". Her Shredderman series also yielded a Christopher Medal for Secret Identity. She has also written several novels such as: How I Survived Being a Girl and Flipped.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-5. Thought it wasn't possible to put a fresh spin on the meathead-versus-nerd story line? The author of the popular Sammyeyes mysteries proves otherwise with the debut of a hilarious new series. Meet Nolan, a brainy fifth-grader whose socially awkward habits (dorky power walking, wearing his socks outside his pants) have earned him the nickname Nerd from bully Bubba Bixby. Fed up with Bubba and inspired by his hippie teacher's jotted compliment on a math quiz (You shred, man! ), Nolan anonymously launches shredderman.com, a forum devoted to exposing Bubba's misdeeds. Van Draanen handles the technological elements with confidence, describing the process of launching a Web site in the breathless voice of an egghead whose deepest enthusiasms have been engaged, and her readers will relish the gadgetry and ingenious problem solving. They'll also connect to the story of a grade-school outsider whose triumphs in cyberspace boost his confidence in the bricks-and-mortar world. Wa-hoo! for Shredderman, and kudos to Van Draanen for delivering a character-driven series that's spot-on for middle-graders and great for reluctant readers, especially boys. Four more visits with Nolan and his alter ego, all featuring pitch-perfect illustrations, are planned. --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Van Draanen (Swear to Howdy; the Sammy Keyes mysteries) launches a one-man "Revenge of the Nerds" for the elementary crowd with this first in the Shredderman series. This quick-moving, often comical, story stars narrator Nolan Byrd, a likeable fifth-grader short on friends and self-confidence. Ever since Bubba, the class bully, deemed him "Nerd" (short for "Byrd-the-Nerd"), the name has stuck. When Nolan's teacher assigns a project to write a newspaper article on any topic they like ("Is there something that you feel very angry about? An injustice you see in the world?"), the boy decides he will focus his report on Bubba. He exposes the tyrant's wily ways by rigging up a digital camera in his backpack so that he can surreptitiously photograph Bubba's devious deeds. After the ploy works (Nolan snaps the bad boy dumping a trash can onto the floor) he begins to worry about the repercussions once all the projects were displayed in the classroom ("When Bubba saw it, he'd pound me!"). So the clever kid decides to build a Web site using the "secret identity" of Shredderman, in order to post further evidence of Bubba's bullying ("All Bubba, All the Time"). The reactions of his teacher and classmates will be as gratifying to readers as they are to Nolan. The narrator's confidence gets a big boost as he realizes that in his new "superhero" guise he can "fight for truth and justice." Kids are likely to log on to subsequent tales. Ages 7-10. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4--Fifth grader Nolan Byrd's nickname at school is "Byrd the Nerd"--a title bestowed on him by the relentless school bully, Bubba Bixby. Inspired by a class project, Nolan decides he is finally going to fight back. He sets up a Web page using the alias "Shredderman" and provides the scoop on everything Bubba--from Bubba jokes to video and pictures of Bubba caught in the act of tormenting his classmates. Then, to make sure the message finds its audience, he scatters confetti with the Web address across the school playground. Wendelin Van Draanen's amusing tale (Knopf, 2004) is brought to life by talented 11-year-old Daniel Young who convincingly voices the adults and the children. This delightful combination of thought-provoking material and laugh-out-loud moments will delight listeners.-Deanna Romriell, Salt Lake City Public Library, UT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.


Excerpts

Excerpts

CHAPTER 1 BUBBA BIXBY Bubba Bixby was born big and mean, full of teeth and ready to bite. That's what my mom thinks anyway. My dad says a boy isn't born bad--he grows into being bad. I don't know who's right. What I do know is that Bubba Bixby's got rocky knuckles. And killer breath. Teachers are always telling him to use words instead of fists--they have no idea what they're saying! Bubba-breath can knock you out cold. Ask Ian McCoy. It actually happened to him in the third grade. When Bubba shouted at him, Ian's eyes rolled up in his head. His knees buckled. Then he blacked out and bit the dirt. We had to slap his cheeks like crazy to get him to wake up, and when he did, he sat up, then threw up. My father thinks I shouldn't call Bubba "Bubba" like everyone else does. He thinks I should call him Alvin, which is his real name. I've told him that calling him Alvin will get me pounded. Mike McDermish got dared to do it once and was nothing but Mike-mush when it was over. Now it's "Sure, Bubba" and "You betcha, Bubba" whenever he talks to him. My mom and dad used to try to get the school to do something about Bubba. They talked to teachers. They even talked to the principal, Dr. Voss, a bunch of times. Nothing changed. Dad thinks Dr. Voss isn't assertive enough. Dr. Voss thinks I'm not assertive enough. She says that kids like Bubba help us get ready for life. Now that I'm a fifth grader, my dad tells me not to worry about Bubba. He says that I've got a lot more on the ball than Bubba does, and that one day Alvin Bixby will be working for me. But he's wrong on two counts. First, that's forever away. And second, I wouldn't hire Bubba in a million years. I'd fire him. Say . . . what if I could fire Bubba from school? Wouldn't that be cool? Just kick him out and tell him to never come back. I could eat lunch without him flipping over my tray. Play four-square without him hogging the ball. Line up for class without him taking cuts and shoving the rest of us back. Oh, yeah. School without Bubba would be a whole new place. I have to admit that our teacher, Mr. Green, tries to keep Bubba in line, but Mr. Green's already got one full-time job teaching fifth grade, and my mom says it's hard for him to take on another in the middle of it. Plus, Bubba's sly. So no matter how hard Mr. Green tries, Bubba gets away with stuff. Like lying. And cheating. And stealing. My magic-rub eraser is in Bubba's desk right now with the initials B.B. gouged into it. So are some of my colored pencils. And probably my favorite The Gecko and Sticky magazine and the Dinosaurs library book I keep getting a reminder on. It's not just my stuff that gets stolen. Bubba takes things from everybody. Even his friends, Kevin and Max. Actually, I think he steals from them the most. The only thing Bubba's ever given anyone is names. I used to be Nolan Byrd. Now I'm Byrd-the-Nerd. Or just plain Nerd. Jake is Bucktooth. Trey is Butthead. Marvin is Moron. Todd is Toad, Ian is Fizz, Jenni is Worm-lips, Trinity is Pony-girl, Kayla is Freckle, Sarah is Kiss-up . . . everyone's got two names: one from their parents and one from Bubba. His names stick, too. If Bubba calls you something a few times, you'll hear it over and over again from everyone. Some people like their names. Like Brian Washington. Even the teachers call him Gap because he wants them to. He doesn't have a gap between his front teeth anymore, but Bubba called him that in second grade, and he hasn't been Brian since. So that's Bubba. He calls you names. He steals your stuff. He breathes putrid fumes in your face. And even though I've always wanted to do something about it, I could never figure out what. I'm half Bubba's size and don't exactly want to die in elementary school. So I just eat lunch far away from him, make room when he's cutting in line, and let him call me Nerd. It's not fair, but at least I'm still alive. Excerpted from Secret Identity by Wendelin Van Draanen All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.