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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Shredderman: Secret Identity by Wendelin Van Draanen

Shredderman: Secret IdentityIf you enjoy picking on that “nerdy” kid in your class, you should probably think twice…

Fifth-grader Nolan Byrd is tired of school bully Bubba Bixby terrorizing everyone in his fifth grade class. According to Nolan, “Bubba Bixby was born big and mean, full of teeth, and ready to bite.” Bubba has given everyone a nickname based on their appearance, which has caused everyone in class to refer to their classmates by their nickname. Bubba’s real name is Alvin, but anyone who has dared to call Bubba “Alvin” has ended up with a good pounding or has had to endure smelling Bubba’s horrendous breath.

Nolan is tired of all of the nickname nonsense, especially since he is referred to as “Byrd the Nerd” or just “Nerd” for short by all of his classmates. Nolan is aware that he is a little different, maybe even quirky, than the rest of his classmates, but enough is enough! When Mr. Green gives his class a class project about writing a news report that the students find to be an injustice, Nolan begins to formulate a plan about stopping Bubba’s antics and getting his classmates the justice they deserve. Nolan formulates his plan carefully and strats his project by creating a “superhero” alter-ego. After all, Superheroes fight for justice, and that is exactly what Nolan is trying to do! After a great deal of deliberation, Nolan chooses the name “Shredderman,” which comes from a compliment given to Nolan by his teacher, Mr. Green, on a math test “You shred, man!”

After deciding upon his secret identity, Nolan creates a website called to post all of Bubba’s misdeeds for the whole world to see. As Nolan builds his website, he takes pictures and video footage of Bubba terrorizing his classmates and other children in the school. After the site is created, Nolan wants to make sure that everyone at school can find the website, so he scatters confetti with the web address across the school playground. When everyone at school begins to see the website, things begin to change.

This is a great story that everyone can relate to! I really like how Nolan stays true to himself and does not let what anyone says change who he is as a person. I would have loved to have read more about some of the Bubba sightings that Nolan posted on This book is the first book in the Shredderman series, so I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the books.

This book is currently nominated for the 2011 Bluestem Award.

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