Warp Speed

Warp Speed

4.7 6
by Lisa Yee

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Lisa Yee returns to her core strength in older middle-grade fiction and the characters that made her famous in this "Diary of a Wimpy Trekkie."

Entering 7th grade is no big deal for Marley Sandelski: Same old boring classes, same old boring life. The only thing he has to look forward to is the upcoming Star Trek convention. But when he inadvertently draws


Lisa Yee returns to her core strength in older middle-grade fiction and the characters that made her famous in this "Diary of a Wimpy Trekkie."

Entering 7th grade is no big deal for Marley Sandelski: Same old boring classes, same old boring life. The only thing he has to look forward to is the upcoming Star Trek convention. But when he inadvertently draws the attention of Digger Ronster, the biggest bully in school, his life has officially moved from boring to far too dramatic . . . from invisible to center stage.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Yee (Bobby the Brave ) offers another empathetic portrayal of an outsider with unique attributes in this story about seventh-grader Marley Sandelski, an admitted geek, who loves Star Trek, old movies, and his Technical Sciences class. Having been spit on, punched, and stuffed in his locker, he spends a lot of time running from trouble; when Coach Martin notices his speed, Marley receives an enticing offer to join the track team. Becoming a runner would earn him popularity points in a school where "jocks rule," but Marley isn't sure he has the killer instinct to compete ("Being on the track team is all about winning, which means that someone would have to lose"). Featuring appearances from some of Yee's previous heroes and heroines—Millicent Min, Stanford Wong, and Emily Ebers—this slice-of-life novel focuses on themes that will likely hit home with readers. If Marley's athletic ability appears too large for life (given the fact he has earned the reputation of being a klutz in P.E. and is usually picked last for teams), his internal conflicts and emotions ring true. Ages 10–13. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Judy Crowder
Marley Sandelski, self-proclaimed Star Trek devotee, has plenty of problems, starting with his name. As he puts it, the only commonly known Marleys are a Dickens' character, "dead, to begin with," from A Christmas Carol, and a book/movie dog. His parents named him after a famous writer, now dead. "So there you have it. I share my name with a dog, a dead guy and a ghost. Is it any wonder my life sucks?" He may have a point. Marley is not part of the popular crowd. Instead he is a geeky audio visual club member and target for bullies (the "Gorn") who routinely shut him in his locker and leave daily bruises. Digger, the school bully no one should mess with, absconds with his homework. Marley and his parents live in an apartment above the Rialto, the town's historic theater, which they own and run, barely getting by. Aside from his family, Marley has a couple of anchors in his life. First, he can run fast to escape the Gorn. Second, the "gospel" of Star Trek gives him strength: "What would Spock Do?" is his motto. Arguing the greatness of the Starship Enterprise crew with his equally geeky friends—fans of Star Wars and Batman—gives life zest, and he writes about his days (in Star Trek-speak) in his notebook (Captain's Log). The log's first page contains one word: "invisible." But things are about to change. His extraordinary running speed gets the attention of the track coach and a new girl actually smiles and talks to him! This book is full of adolescent angst, memorable characters, and plot twists that help Marley realize that popularity may not be the most desirable goal. Read to find all the circumstances that lead to his last log book entry: "invincible." Well recommended! Reviewer: Judy Crowder
School Library Journal
Gr 5–9—Marley Sandelski is invisible. At Rancho Rosetta Middle School, he's chased by bullies, threatened into sharing his homework, and ignored by everyone else. An admitted geek, he loves Star Trek, AV Club, and the Rialto, an old movie theater that serves as both his home and his parents' business. His empathetic nature shines through, and he's not without allies, including his closest buds Ramen and Max. And of course, there's always the Trekkie action figure of the day in his pocket to help him out of jams (he frequently asks himself, "WWSD—What Would Spock Do?"). Though he's resigned to hiding behind the shadows of those standing on the sidelines, his ability to outrun bullies catches the track coach's eye. During the school's annual Tiggy Tiger Turkey Trot race, Marley finds himself running for his life, away from the Gorn (a trio of tormentors nicknamed after the "evil, slow-moving beasts" in a Star Trek episode), and accidentally winning the trophy. Suddenly sky-rocketed into the spotlight, Marley's the star of the school. As his external universe alters, he must re-evaluate himself and set a new course for his place in the cosmos. Yee's previous protagonists, Millicent, Stanford, and Emily, all make cameo appearances. Once again, the author addresses a serious issue with a light touch. An entertaining read and a solid example of bibliotherapy.—Richelle Roth, Boone County Public Library, KY
From the Publisher

“Yee’s combination of humor and sympathy works a charm here, giving Marley a life of his own and a chance at success in this solid addition to her prismatic look at middle school.” -- Kirkus Reviews

“Fans of Yee’s Millie Trilly will be thrilled with this spin-off…. Yee admirably keeps the topic of bullying a realistically complicated one…. Like the earlier books, this one truly stands alone, but reading them all and finding the many connections is too good a treat to pass up.” -- Horn Book

“Once again, the author addresses a serious issue with a light touch. An entertaining read and a solid example of bibliotherapy.” -- School Library Journal

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
HL620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Lisa Yee’s novels include Millicent Min, Girl Genius; Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time (an ALA Notable Book); the first Bobby book, Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally); and most recently WARP SPEED. She lives in South Pasadena, California, with her family. Please visit her website at www.lisayee.com.

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Warp Speed 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best Book Forever Sharkbait
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So gooooddd and it gives a great view on peer pressure and bullying!!!!! Loved the book!!!!! Read it!!!!!! Lol
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Marley is an expert on Star Trek - TSO (the Original Series), AV equipment, and bullying. He's a seventh grader who recognizes his place in the school social network - Geek with a capital G. He's not alone. Ramen, Troy, and Patrick are also fellow geeks and members of the AV Club. There's also a new member named Max who turns out to be quite a surprise. Now that the AV Club has been awarded the status of an actual class at Rancho Rosetta Middle School, the group at least has a place to feel safe once a day. They have fun learning about AV equipment and being the minds behind the real workings of the school. Without their expertise, teachers would have malfunctioning computers, tangled film projectors, and DVD players with no sound. Marley feels comfortable with the equipment and happy arguing with his friends about which is best - Star Trek or Star Wars. Before and after school is a different story for Marley. He is the target for every bully in the school. He is so used to being punched, shoved in his locker, and chased home by the biggest jerks in the school that he has come to expect nothing less. Reporting the harassment is not an option, since the school principal doesn't even know his name and his parents have problems of their own. Marley lives in an ancient movie theater called the Rialto. His father doesn't like going out in public and chooses to spend his time running the theater, which is pretty much a losing proposition. Marley's mother is blind. Despite her challenging disability, she teaches piano lessons, cooks wonderful meals, and spends her free time playing golf. Marley knows his folks love him, but he doesn't feel he can share his troubles with them since they have so many of their own. Seventh grade is proving to be more of the same as far as the bullying goes, but several new developments have Marley hoping this year might be different. First, there's Max, the new member of the AV Club. Marley and his buddies are shocked to learn after several days in class with this Max character that Max is actually a girl. She's not a Star Trek or Star Wars fan; instead, she's all about Batman, but they still welcome her into their group. Then, after the collapse of AV teacher Mr. Jiang, the group finds themselves stuck in Home Sciences class working on some crazy partner project involving garbage bags and fashion. Marley can't believe his bad luck when he is partnered up with Emily Ebers. She seems pretty bossy at first, but the more they work together, the nicer she is to him. Maybe this is the year he will have some luck with girls. Author Lisa Yee's WARP SPEED continues the stories she has created in MILLICENT MIN GIRL GENIUS, STANFORD WONG FLUNKS BIG-TIME, and SO TOTALLY EMILY EBERS. Marley's character returns here to share his own story. It is full of humor, crazy middle school antics, and family problems. The use of a bullying theme also gives it a current connection to what is happening in schools today. Middle grade readers won't let this one gather dust on the shelves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks good. No thanks, I like the american girl books Lisa Yee. :I (sigh)