Popular Clone: The Clone Chronicles #1

Popular Clone: The Clone Chronicles #1

3.7 19
by M. E. Castle
     
 

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"Castle’s debut, the first in a planned series, strikes just the right balance of humor and action and is sure to keep young readers turning the pages. Fisher’s struggles to fit in, to relate to girls and to uncover and preserve his true self feel genuine, making him a misfit and unlikely hero worth rooting for."—Kirkus Reviews

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Overview

"Castle’s debut, the first in a planned series, strikes just the right balance of humor and action and is sure to keep young readers turning the pages. Fisher’s struggles to fit in, to relate to girls and to uncover and preserve his true self feel genuine, making him a misfit and unlikely hero worth rooting for."—Kirkus Reviews

Meet Fisher Bas: a 12-year-old, growth-stunted, geeky science genius who is the son of Nobel Prize -winning parents. Despite his outsized IQ, Fisher is far from the most popular kid in his middle school—he’s actually tormented daily by the beefy, overgrown goons he calls the Vikings.

Holed up in his home lab over a long weekend, Fisher uses his mother’s revolutionary Advanced Growth Hormone to clone himself. Now Fisher Two can go to school each day while the real Fisher stays at home playing video games, eating Cheetos, and working on his latest inventions. It’s an ingenious plan that works brilliantly . . . until Fisher’s clone turns out to be more popular than him and then gets clone-napped by the evil scientist Dr. Xander. As his simple plan to literally avoid the toilet bowl of middle school collapses, Fisher’s life gets even more complicated, and he must set out on an epic adventure to rescue his genetic counterpart.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cynthia Levinson
Twelve-year-old Fisher Bas may seem to be like many unpopular, geeky sixth-graders, both fictional and real. With Nobel-Prize-winning parents who created the Bas-Hermaphrodite-Sea-Slug Hypothesis (the name alone is mortifying), he probably cannot help being victimized by the three bullies, whom he calls The Vikings, at Wampalog Middle School. But Fisher has a secret weapon—the secret, highly sought-after Advanced Growth Hormone developed by his mother. The day The Vikings make him throw up in the lunch room on Veronica, the girl he pines for, he deploys AGH to clone himself. Two, as he calls his clone, fools everyone, including Fisher's parents, teachers, and classmates, allowing Fisher to stay safely at home, noshing snacks, playing with his pet pig, and, via his computer, watching Two take his place at school. Two problems, however, threaten to foil Fisher's newly ideal lifestyle. Two becomes popular, partly because he is a trouble-maker, and Fisher does not know how to handle friends, especially Veronica. Furthermore, Two is nabbed by the mad scientist Dr. X, who wants the formula for AGH, and, when Fisher tries to rescue him, he, too, is imprisoned. Using high-tech high-jinks, Fisher blows up Dr. X's compound—and Two along with it. Nevertheless, Fisher realizes that his clone was really another side of himself—the brave, bold, calm side that he could now call upon. Middle-school readers, especially boys, will love this inventive, hilarious, gently up-lifting page-turner, the first title in "The Clone Chronicles" series. Reviewer: Cynthia Levinson
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Geeky Fisher Bas is trying to make it through middle school by avoiding bullies and befriending his science teacher. His parents are Nobel Prize-winning scientists and his mother has created Accelerated Growth Hormone (AGH), which has the potential to revolutionize medicine technology and has made her the target of evil scientist Dr. X. But before he can steal the AGH, Fisher decides to use it to grow his own clone. It will go to school for him and deal with the bullies and tedious teachers, and Fisher can stay at home and conduct important experiments. However, he didn't bargain on his clone, whom he refers to as "Two," earning a reputation as a troublemaker and becoming more popular than he could ever imagine. This leads to some interesting problems. When a popular girl comes to his home, hoping that they can become study buddies, he can't decide if he should be himself or substitute his more confident clone. Soon Fisher's social drama takes a backseat to Dr. X's dark scheming. When Two gets kidnapped by the evil mastermind, Fisher goes into complete Spy Kids mode, equipping himself with a popcorn gun and a flying pig sidekick. This fun novel is for kids who like Anthony Horowitz's "Alex Rider" series (Philomel) and can handle the challenging scientific vocabulary.—Kathleen Meulen Ellison, Sakai Intermediate School, Bainbridge Island, WA
Publishers Weekly
For 12-year-old science and math whiz Fisher Bas, a typical day at school means avoiding “The Vikings,” a trio of relentless bullies, and not living up to the ideals of his comic book hero, Vic Daring. His Nobel Prize–winning parents assure him that this phase will pass, but after a particularly humiliating day, Fisher vows never to go to school again. He steals his mother’s “Accelerated Growth Hormone” and creates a clone, Fisher-2, so he can spend his days eating junk food, living vicariously through his clone, and working on inventions that include a “social survival watch” (complete with “conversation topic generator” and “mint spritzer” for bad breath) and a Popcorn Gun, which are diagrammed throughout in sketchy line art. When Fisher-2 instantly becomes popular at school (as well as a troublemaker) and is “clone-napped,” Fisher and his flying pig must save the day. Fisher’s wild imagination and sincerity fuel Castle’s debut novel, first in a planned series. Heavy doses of self-deprecating humor, high-tech wizardry, and goofy middle-school antics add up to an amusing and action-packed adventure. Ages 8–12. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
Castle’s debut, the first in a planned series, strikes just the right balance of humor and action and is sure to keep young readers turning the pages. Fisher’s struggles to fit in, to relate to girls and to uncover and preserve his true self feel genuine, making him a misfit and unlikely hero worth rooting for.

An inventive new take on the traditional bully story.  – Kirkus Reviews

Heavy doses of self-deprecating humor, high-tech wizardry, and goofy middle-school antics add up to an amusing and action-packed adventure.  – Publishers Weekly
 
Endearingly awkward and eminently likable (despite what his classmates might think), Fisher is a protagonist to root for, and his ultimate triumph over both the bullies and Dr. X offers a pleasing bit of wish fulfillment to any kid who has ever dreaded the beginning of the school week…[R]eaders will likely end up fantasizing about what they could get away with if only they too had a Two.  – The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Debut author M.E. Castle's humorous novel about a geeky science genius will impress middle-grade boys everywhere… Paired with illustrations, Popular Clone is accessible to new chapter book readers and just right for fans of Michael Buckley's NERDS series.  – ShelfAwareness for Readers

This fun novel is for kids who like Anthony Horowitz’s “Alex Rider” series (Philomel) and can handle the challenging scientific vocabulary.  – School Library Journal

I recommend Popular Clone for middle school aged students and anyone who can relate to just wanting to avoid bullies and conflict. Anyone who has ever faced a crisis in self-esteem will see a little bit of themselves in Fisher.   YahooVoices

This is the first book from a new author in what promises to be a very entertaining series, full of humor, suspense, middle school drama and nifty high-tech gadgetry.  – The Buffalo News

Kirkus Reviews
What happens when you take one lovable-but-nerdy sixth grader and add a little mad scientist and a smattering of tween James Bond? You get Fisher Bas, a 12-year-old genius who's seen the inside of one too many toilet bowls thanks to the Vikings, Wampalog Middle School's infamous band of bullies. Unwilling to subject himself to one more day of torment, Fisher steals a sample of his world-renowned scientist mother's top-secret human-growth hormone and clones himself. At first, Fisher is relieved to let his clone deal with the Vikings while he watches from his computer at home, but his simple plan quickly becomes dangerously complicated. Fisher Two's unexpected popularity threatens to blow their cover, and things go from bad to worse when both Fishers wind up in the evil grasp of resident mad scientist Dr. X, who's desperate to get his hands on the top-secret formula. Castle's debut, the first in a planned series, strikes just the right balance of humor and action and is sure to keep young readers turning the pages. Fisher's struggles to fit in, to relate to girls and to uncover and preserve his true self feel genuine, making him a misfit and unlikely hero worth rooting for. An inventive new take on the traditional bully story. (Fantasy. 9-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781606843017
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/01/2012
Series:
The Clone Chronicles
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Lexile:
870L (what's this?)
File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

M.E. Castle is a writer and actor working in the glorious center of the universe, New York City. He graduated from Oberlin College in 2008 with a degree in Theatre and has written a number of short stories, only a handful of which have ever been seen by an audience wider than his closest friends. Popular Clone is M.E.’s first novel.

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