Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

Overview

You wouldn’t expect Nate and Charlie to be friends. Charlie’s the laid-back captain of the basketball team, and Nate is the neurotic, scheming president of the robotics club. But they are friends, however unlikely—until Nate declares war on the cheerleaders. At stake is funding that will either cover a robotics competition or new cheerleading uniforms—but not both.

It's only going to get worse: after both parties are stripped of their funding on grounds of abominable ...

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Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

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Overview

You wouldn’t expect Nate and Charlie to be friends. Charlie’s the laid-back captain of the basketball team, and Nate is the neurotic, scheming president of the robotics club. But they are friends, however unlikely—until Nate declares war on the cheerleaders. At stake is funding that will either cover a robotics competition or new cheerleading uniforms—but not both.

It's only going to get worse: after both parties are stripped of their funding on grounds of abominable misbehavior, Nate enrolls the club's robot in a battlebot competition in a desperate bid for prize money. Bad sportsmanship? Sure. Chainsaws? Why not. Running away from home on Thanksgiving to illicitly enter a televised robot death match? Of course!

In Faith Erin Hicks' and Prudence Shen's world of high school class warfare and robot death matches, Nothing can possibly go wrong.  

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When the school budget only allows for either new cheerleading uniforms or funding for a robotics competition, students at Hollow Ridge High take matters into their own hands in this exuberant escapade. At the center of the story are Charlie and Nate, neighbors and childhood friends who have stayed close despite drifting into different cliques (Charlie is the captain of the basketball team, while Nate heads up the robotics club). Debut author Shen and illustrator Hicks (Friends with Boys) employ high school mainstays—neurotic nerds, hive-minded cheerleaders, oblivious parents, and a contentious class election—but put a fresh spin on them, aligning the book with more recent teen phenomena such as Glee rather than, say, the films of John Hughes. Shen’s plot ably balances drama, humor, angst, and robotic geekery, giving the book an immediate YA appeal, but one that’s broad enough to be enjoyable to older readers, as well. Visually, Hicks’s wide-eyed, inky b&w panels infuse the characters with real emotion and personality, capturing the book’s heartfelt youthfulness. Ages 12–up. Author’s agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Bernadette Baker-Baughman, Victoria Sanders & Associates. (May)¦
From the Publisher
"Smart and funny; don’t miss this one." — Kirkus Reviews

"This story has everything: basketball, dastardly cheerleaders, a robot rumble, conniving geeks, a house party, family drama, student body council elections, and a tiny sliver of romance." — Booklist, starred review

 

Praise for the Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong Online Serial:

"I love Hicks’ artwork and I’m excited to see what new author Shen has in store. " —Wired.com GEEKDAD blog

"Sounds like my kind of thing!" —Cory Doctorow, BOINGBOING.com

"The very first strip is a grabber." —Heidi MacDonald, THE BEAT.com

"This lightweight romp could be just the ticket for latecomers to comics and GNs." — BCCB

School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—The next student-body president will decide if the school will fund cheerleader uniforms or a robotics competition, and the cheerleaders are forcing the basketball captain to run against his friend Nate, the robotics club president. The line between jocks and nerds begins to waver, however, when the two warring factions enter a robot rumble for the prize money. The robot death matches are suspenseful and, like much of this novel, effectively illustrated with cinematic paneling and few words. Hicks's angular illustrations nod to manga and are wonderfully expressive: the haughty cheerleaders are truly chilling. Tweens, teens, and all robot fans should enjoy this good-humored play on the ongoing battle between jocks and geeks.—Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
An unlikely assemblage of robot-builders and cheerleaders rally together for a common cause. Charlie and Nate have been friends forever, and even though Charlie is a quiet jock and Nate is the president of the robotics club, they remain friends against the high school grain. However, when Charlie's ex—coldly calculating cheerleader Holly—threatens to usurp precious school funds away from the robotics club so her squad can have new uniforms, Nate decides to run for student council president to ensure that the funds go to his club. Not to be outdone, Holly decides that Charlie will run against him. When the mud-slinging election goes too far, both sides find themselves without any school monies. They must then join together and enter a Robot Rumble contest in hopes of snagging a top prize. Shen's writing is spot-on and often laugh-out-loud funny. Hicks' modish art serves as an apt complement, with many panels deftly capturing deadpan looks where words would otherwise fail. Perhaps the only flaw in this truly enjoyable read is the overbusy panels during the Robot Rumble, which can be a bit confusing. Smart and funny; don't miss this one. (Graphic fiction. 13 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596436596
  • Publisher: First Second
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 179,259
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Prudence Shen is a writer and caffeine addict who pays rent in New York even though she mostly lives in airports. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is her first book. She loves robots. Not like that.

Faith Erin Hicks is a writer and artist in Halifax, Canada. Her first two graphic novels, Zombies Calling and The War at Ellsmere, were published by SLG Publishing. She has illustrated First Second’s Brain Camp and wrote and illustrated 2012's Friends With Boys, a coming of age story with supernatural elements and a musical about zombies. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is her most recent graphic novel.

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Reading Group Guide

About the Book:

You wouldn’t expect Nate and Charlie to be friends. Charlie’s the laid-back captain of the basketball team, and Nate is the neurotic, scheming president of the robotics club. But they are friends, however unlikely—until Nate declares war on the cheerleaders. At stake is funding that will either cover a robotics competition or new cheerleading uniforms—but not both.

It's only going to get worse: after both parties are stripped of their funding on grounds of abominable misbehavior, Nate enrolls the club's robot in a battlebot competition in a desperate bid for prize money. Bad sportsmanship? Sure. Chainsaws? Why not. Running away from home on Thanksgiving to illicitly enter a televised robot death match? Nothing can possibly go wrong.

Read More Show Less

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