The Nerdy Dozen

The Nerdy Dozen

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by Jeff Miller
     
 

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Neil Andertol is a hero. . . . Just not in real life.

In video games, Neil—or as his online friends know him, ManofNeil—is a superstar. He's only one spot away from the top score on Chameleon, the cool new jet-flying game where the plane supposedly goes invisible at the highest level. But while ManofNeil can take out a whole squadron of enemy

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Overview

Neil Andertol is a hero. . . . Just not in real life.

In video games, Neil—or as his online friends know him, ManofNeil—is a superstar. He's only one spot away from the top score on Chameleon, the cool new jet-flying game where the plane supposedly goes invisible at the highest level. But while ManofNeil can take out a whole squadron of enemy planes, regular Neil still gets picked on by the class bully. Until now.

When Neil mysteriously wakes up at an undisclosed military base along with eleven other kids, he learns that Chameleon isn't just a game—it's the training simulator for a real fighter jet! Now the Air Force needs the kids' help piloting its jets on a top-secret rescue mission. Can Neil put his gaming skills to the ultimate real-life test? Because this time Neil isn't just playing for points—he's playing to save the world.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
05/01/2014
Gr 5–8—Neil Andertol, 13, is an expert at video games, especially Chameleon, rumored to be a leaked military/flying simulator. While his eight-year-old sister competes at a karate tournament, Neil gets dropped off at his archenemy's house for the weekend. Unable to withstand the bullying from Tommy and his cronies, Neil heads home, only to be captured by the Air Force. Major Jones gathers him and 11 other kids who live vicariously through Chameleon. They embark on an important mission in which they will train to pilot real planes and locate a stolen jet. They soon find themselves on a remote island with a whopping dilemma. Harris, a frenzied video-game millionaire, has taken the plane in an attempt to steal the Chameleon's invisibility technology, the most advanced in the world. With the help of the island's natives, Neil and his friends use their video-gaming skills to thwart Harris's sinister plan. With a great variety of characters and their changable degrees of weirdness, the plot is well developed. Part action and part slapstick, the book will be savored by fans of video games and those interested in military aviation. However, reluctant readers might lose interest in the unusual occurrences of virtual ostrich racing and aviation lingo.—Krista Welz, North Bergen High School, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-17
In this distant cousin of Ender's Game, a gaggle of young gamers get to display their virtual piloting skills with real jets. Also ostriches. Thirteen-year-old Neil does not spend his Memorial Day weekend in his bedroom in front of a screen as he hopes. Along with 11 other geeks who have earned top scores in the online flight simulator "Chameleon," he helps the U.S. Air Force recover an actual Chameleon, an experimental jet that can turn invisible and has gone down on a remote volcanic island. Over the course of the mission, Neil faces a series of character-building challenges ranging from the discovery that the only pizza available on the island is topped with pineapple to the even more harrowing revelation that his online best buddy, ShooterSam is actually Samantha. "Credibility" doesn't seem to be an item on Miller's priority list, but he does propel his assorted misfits through a series of silly set pieces and exciting aerial acrobatics on the way to a wild ride to the climax atop the aforementioned feathered steeds. Neil shows plenty of leadership ability in coping with each reverse and revelation too, and by the end, he can even share a victory hug with Sam without fantods. A feather-light, stand-alone series opener for readers who don't mind saying goodbye to their disbelief. (Adventure. 10-13)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062272645
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/10/2014
Series:
Nerdy Dozen , #1
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
74,074
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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