June 10, 2011

Book Talk: Warp Speed

My name is Marley Sandelski and pretty much get my butt kicked on a daily basis.  The kids at Rancho Rosetta Middle School are ruthless. I get punched, spit on shoved into my locker, chased and taunted and nobody does anything about it. If anyone stands up to the bullies, they will get killed. So, we just grimace and bear it. 
I use to be best friends with Standford- until he became a star jock. He completely sold me out. He doesn't even look in my direction any more. I hate him. The only people I can count on are the other geeks in AV Club, I mean Technical Sciences Class. We pretty much run this school- without us, there would be no way teachers could plug in their own DVD players. I can't wait for 6th period because I know that for that short while, I won't get beat up. 
Teachers have asked if I'm ok- even my mom and dad have asked. But, I just smile and say that I'm fine. Heck, my mom is blind and she even knows something isn't right. You can't get anything past her. She can see my misery better than the stupid principal of Rosetta Middle School. He is such an idiot- he thinks that bracelets that say "Be a buddy not a bully" will keep kids like me from getting pulverized. Duh. Now when I get my butt handed to me, the bully says- "Wanna be my buddy?" 
My best friend is Ramen- yes, Ramen like the noodles. I am stuck with him because we are both geeks, I guess. He's ok, except he has this very unhealthy obsession with Star Wars. I HATE Star Wars. I'm what you call a Trekkie. I can name all of the characters, episodes and quote lines from every show from TOS (The Original Series). I guess I rely on Star Trek to help me through life. Like if I need good luck, I carry my Captain Kirk action figure with me. After school when I need to decompress, I put on my Spock ears. If I am in a sticky situation, I ask myself "WWSD?" (What would Spock do?)  Star Trek has gotten me through some rough times. I even keep my own Captain's Log where I record everything that occurred during the day.
Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse in my life, they do. My AV Club teacher, Mr. Jiang is out for 2 weeks and all the AV Club kids are stuck taking Home Science Class. (On the upside, I met the most beautiful girl in the world, and I may be in love).  The richest kid in town threatens to close down my family's theater, The Rialto if I don't do his homework. The Gorn have really stepped up their butt kicking and now chase me through town every day. And- the track coach has seen me run and wants me to join the track team. Did I mention that the new kid Max wants to narc out all the bullies on my behalf? I don't think I can take much more of this. What WOULD Spock do? I wish I knew. 
Warp Speed is by Lisa Yee (F YEE)
I think we have a Newbery contender on our hands here folks.
From my perspective, not Marley's, this book should be required reading for all kids going into jr. high. My heart ached for Marley. I was disgusted by the ignorance of the adults (except his parents) in this book... I thought "Am I this blind? Can I be making a difference?" I must confess that this is the first book of the Rancho Rosetta books that I have read. I just returned from the library with Millicent Min (I thought Marley and Millicent would make a good couple.) I would pair this book with Surviving Brick Johnson by Laurie Myers.

Now- to the kids who might be reading this blog: It is not ok to bully anyone. You might have your own problems, but preying on other kids won't help. And, if you just stand by and watch a bully without helping, you are just as bad as the bully. If you are being bullied, or abused (Like Digger) you need to find someone you can trust. A teacher, a friend, a librarian... someone that you can ask for help. We can't help you if we don't know what is going on. Trust us- most of us are a little brighter than the teachers in Warp Speed... at least I hope we are. If you want to do some reading on bullying, try these sites:
Dealing With Bullies
It's My Life from PBSKids
For Parents: Helping Kids Deal With Bullies 
And, you can always email me at butcher.kelly@iccsd.k12.ia.us


  1. Hi. Thanks for hosting Book Talk Tuesday - I love that you have reviewed this book - I've encountered quite a number of YA lit that deals with this topic and I am sorely tempted to really create a theme on our website that features books related to bullying. I'm not sure if you've encountered this link (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/47494-bea-2011-ya-authors-crusade-to-put-an-end-to-bullying.html) - it was just something that a fellow book blogger left in my site - apparently there's a crusade being done by YA authors to stop bullying. Do check it out. Hope it is helpful. =)

  2. Thank you Mrs. Butcher for posting this review!! This book is now going on my to-read pile on goodreads:-)I have read Millicent min: Girl Genius and really liked it so I look forward to trying Warp Speed! Addy

  3. I am reading this book right now it is really good I thought it was pretty sad that he got beat up I found myself shaking after I read that part. I really like this part I haven't finished it yet I am on page 180. My friend was reading this to but hes not much of a reader. I used to not like reading but now I almost have the most points in all of 5th grade! I really like it is one of the best books I have read this year.