When I saw this series on the shelf I couldn’t help but pick it up, because it has the word NERD in large bold text right on the cover. And I am, after all, a nerd. I was also a fan of the show Codename: Kids Next Door when it aired on Cartoon Network, and this book reminded me of my love for it.
Our protagonist, Jackson Jones, starts out as the most popular kid at his elementary school. He is a star athlete on the football team, and adored by all of his peers… Or so he thinks. After a trip to the dentist he discovers that he was born with two rows of teeth, and is required to wear a large head brace indefinitely. Overnight he is kicked off the football team for not being able to wear a helmet, and his friends stop talking to him completely. Left alone to his own devices, Jackson begins to uncover some mysteries about his school. He notices that the biggest group of nerds always sneeze at exactly the same time in class and then leave together, disappearing in one of the school’s hallways. Jackson climbs into a locker, and finds himself transported into an underground laboratory, home to the National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society.
Jackson is offered the chance to join NERDS, but can he get along with the same group of people that he once tormented for being nerds?
This book offers a unique perspective in that there are also chapters told from the Hyena’s point of view, these were also my favorite chapters in the book. The Hyena is an assassin for hire, even though she’s eleven years old and has yet to kill anybody. She works for the antagonist of the story, but grows to question his motives as the story continues. I would highly suggest this book for children in grades 2-5.