The Nobodies

The Nobodies

4.7 9
by N. E. Bode, Peter Ferguson
     
 

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As you may know, my insanely jealous creative writing teacher is after me. And while I narrowly avoid attempts on my life, I'm writing these new adventures of Fern and Howard. They are on their way to Camp Happy Sunshine Good Times, a camp for young Anybodies. But camp doesn't turn out to be what they expected. First there are the Anybodies who rule as counselors:… See more details below

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Overview

As you may know, my insanely jealous creative writing teacher is after me. And while I narrowly avoid attempts on my life, I'm writing these new adventures of Fern and Howard. They are on their way to Camp Happy Sunshine Good Times, a camp for young Anybodies. But camp doesn't turn out to be what they expected. First there are the Anybodies who rule as counselors: some have gills, some have beaks! There's a vicious mole attacking campers!

And why is it that every time Fern shakes a book, a bottle plops out with an urgent message from the Nobodies? Who are the Nobodies, and what do they want from Fern?

This book promises weird surprises! Multiple jujitsu-like plot twists! A girl whose braids turn into snakes! So go on, read the book already! You might just learn the secret art of being an Anybody�

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Nobodies by N.E. Bode (adult novelist Julianna Baggott writing under a pseudonym), illus. by Peter Ferguson, follows up The Anybodies as young Fern heads off to Camp Happy Sunshine Good Times, "a camp for young Anybodies." Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Direct author remarks to the reader have appeared in many children's books recently. This sequel to The Anybodies begins with a Prologue addressed to the reader about the author's concern for himself. The author insinuates himself in this fantasy adventure about a young girl with supernatural powers on a quest to rescue others. Yet, the author's personal comments are more frequent in the first half of the book and appear to fade in the last half, as he busies himself with sorting out the plot. It isn't until the reader is 80 percent into the book that we meet up with those who need rescuing, the Nobodies of the book title. Before then, we meet Fern, the main character, who as an Anybody can shake characters out of books and change herself into another shape. Fern is eager to attend summer camp which is anything but what its name implies--Camp Happy Sunshine Good Times. Preposterous characters and events are common throughout the story. Don't be confused by the evil Anybody who is three characters in one: a flower-nose talking mole, a blind bus driver and a small boy who changes to the man he is supposed to be at the end of the book. The love and forgiveness of his sister Phoebe make the change possible. It is this sister, not Fern, who is the star at the tearful end of the story. Readers won't be teary-eyed. All the characters cry at the story's goofy ending in a virtual flood begun from the outpouring of Phoebe's heart. The book is a page-turner and presents end-of-chapter dilemmas, but as a mystery, it may only appeal to those who prefer an element of the bizarre with their mystery. 2005, HarperCollins, and Ages 9 to 12.
—Jacki Vawter, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This sequel to The Anybodies (HarperCollins, 2004) is written in the same vein, with strange talking animals and weird goings-on. The prologue features the "author," N. E. Bode, addressing readers in a distinctly Lemony Snicket-esque tone, even to the extent of repeatedly mentioning attempts on his life due to his knowledge of the events in the two books. Fern briefly summarizes events from the first book, but those who have not read it will still be somewhat confused. Fern is an Anybody, who can transform objects into reality. Her grandmother lives in a house made of books and populated by characters that have fallen out of the pages of these volumes. Howard and Fern, both 11 and uneasily starting a friendship, are to spend the summer at an Anybodies camp called Camp Happy Sunshine Good Times. Of course, a camp with that moniker is bound to be anything but fun. Its administrators seem quite sinister, and include an extremely unpleasant and evil mole. The counselors are obnoxious to the kids during the day but at night are trapped in animal form and try to protect the children from frightening and mysterious events. Will the evil Mole successfully steal Fern's precious book, The Art of Being Anybody, thereby giving him access to all the secrets therein? And what is the significance of the fizzy drinks that the counselors incessantly drink? The book ends somewhat abruptly, with all questions answered. An enjoyable choice for fans of the first one.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Library, Sag Harbor, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"Oh, civility! I miss it sometimes, but not very often." A campy tale in more ways than one, this pits young Fern, introduced in The Anybodies (2004) as a vulnerable but plucky lass with the inherited ability literally to shake characters or items out of books, against a mole/man shapechanger with both severe personal issues and a cellarful of enslaved fictional orphans with names like Oliver, Heidi and Huck. Here Fern and her nerdy friend/rival/ersatz sibling Howard arrive at Camp Happy Sunshine Good Times to discover that it has fallen on hard times since the arrival of one BORT. "Henceforthtowith," while figuring out what's going on, foiling efforts to steal her magical tome The Art of Being Anybody, and rescuing the aforesaid Nobodies, she not only taps deep wells of spirit and courage, but discovers a few more unusual abilities. Inserting parenthetical descriptions of a jealous Creative Writing teacher's murder attempts, the pseudonymous "Bode" dishes up a confection that may disorient readers unfamiliar with the previous outing, but is nonetheless rich in mystery, action and self discovery-along with plenty of literary references for well-read audiences to pick up, and occasional urbane illustrations from Ferguson. (Fantasy. 10-12)
Booklist
“An off the wall read-aloud. An excellent example of voice in writing.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060557386
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/14/2005
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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