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The Wrecker

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New to school, Michael is eager to make friends with Theo Vee, a boy genius with a gift for building extraordinary things. But what Theo offers him isn't friendship. It's an opportunity to be an ally, to join forces and wreck--body and soul--the bully who taunts them both. 128 pp. Ages 12 and up. Pub: 12/97.

Theo, the boy genius, enlists Michael, the new kid, as his ally in a secret plan to "wreck" the bully of the eighth grade once...

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Overview

New to school, Michael is eager to make friends with Theo Vee, a boy genius with a gift for building extraordinary things. But what Theo offers him isn't friendship. It's an opportunity to be an ally, to join forces and wreck--body and soul--the bully who taunts them both. 128 pp. Ages 12 and up. Pub: 12/97.

Theo, the boy genius, enlists Michael, the new kid, as his ally in a secret plan to "wreck" the bully of the eighth grade once and for all.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As much a parody of school life as a tale of vengeance, this brains-vs.-brawn contest stars Theo Vee, eighth grade genius/inventor extraordinaire and his reluctant sidekick, Michael. A newcomer to the Sherman School, Michael is more unsettled than flattered when Theo, the creator of dancing boxes, talking wheels and mechanical spiders, chooses him as an ally when dreaming up a plot to utterly ``wreck'' the class bully. From the very beginning, it is obvious that the bully's days are numbered, but few will be able to guess the means and result of his destruction. As extravagant caricatures of classic types, the teachers at Sherman School-jelly-spined Mr. Shoe; Mrs. Gasperwit, who ``just lived for the theater''; Mrs. Stencil, the art teacher-add color to the comic suspense. Although the story's pace is periodically disrupted by vignettes about minor characters, Skinner (You Must Kill a Whale) delivers enough action and guffaws to keep the pages turning. Ages 12-up. (July)
School Library Journal
Michael has been at Sherman Middle School for only four days when he meets Theo, a loner and misfit. Michael becomes Theo's ally in a plan to build a machine that will "wreck" his enemy, Jeffrey Pratt. A compelling story about how the desire for revenge can grow in response to the acts of a bully and how the need to belong can become more important than doing the right thing. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Mary Harris Veeder
r. 69. William Tecumseh Sherman Middle School is the appropriately named scene of a war, a silent but devastating one. Jeffrey Pratt is a bully; Theo is a genius and loner; and Michael, the narrator, is new to the school. The plot is not a predictable ramble toward a warm and fuzzy resolution. Michael is not a transparent narrator, and his story, revealed as he watches and helps Theo plan revenge, is as compelling as Theo's. Even the teachers depicted are complex characters. With elements reminiscent of Robert Cormier and Stephen King, the book will certainly attract teen readers, and it may also spark some thoughtful discussion in the classroom. Because Skinner's narrator sometimes hesitates and is not always able to figure things out, readers have an opportunity to think for themselves--about what Theo does, and why, and how Jeffrey is affected.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671797713
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 7/1/1995
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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