Review: Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities

Cover © Scholastic

Cover © Scholastic

OK, guys. I feel like I’ve been neglecting you. I do so much reading, and I’m lucky enough to be able to interact with authors and read some books before they’re available to the public, and sometimes I have to remind myself to share all that with you. So. Here’s my first review in a while. Hopefully, I’ll start getting these out more often. Shall I put a goal in words? Yes? OK. I aim to do three a month. There, I said it. Now all you have to do is read while you wait.

I read Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities, by Mike Jung a couple of months ago. I was excited to see it in the Scholastic Book Order, in paperback. That makes picking it up so much easier for me, and you! I really had no idea what it was about, but it has a big robot on the cover, so that’s a good start, right? I thought so.

GG&SI is a sort of science fiction superhero story. It stars middle schooler Vincent Wu and his friends, Max and George, the founders and only members of the Captain Studendous Fan Club. Captain Stupendous, superhero defender of their fair city, has been around for as long as they can remember, vanquishing supervillains and saving the lives of ordinary citizens. But then, Captain Stupendous mysteriously disappears, and it’s up to Vincent and his crew to find him.

There were a few things I really loved about GG&SI. First, it’s funny. I mean, really funny. And it’s not make-fun-of-people funny. Or stupid-funny. It’s just funny. Clever and fun.

Second, I really liked author Mike Jung’s writing style. I’ll explain more, but first, pop quiz: What does it mean when something is written in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS? Do you know? DO YOU? It means “yelling.” So if I wrote, “DO YOUR HOMEWORK, YOU LAZY 5TH GRADERS!” in all capital letters, it would mean I was yelling it. You know this was a fictional example, right? I never yell. Really. REALLY!

Anyway, Mike Jung often wrote his dialogue in capital letters, which meant that his characters were often yelling at each other. This isn’t something I remember seeing a lot in kids’ books. I mean, there are definitely books that have yelling, but none that have as much as Mike Jung put into GG&SI. At first, I was like, what? Why is he doing this so much? And then I remembered. The characters are middle schoolers. Middle schoolers are loud. They make fun of each other. They are excitable and funny. So, wait…did Mike Jung just create the most accurate middle school characters ever? Loud, snarky, goofy. I think he might have.

So, with Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identites, here’s what you have. One, you’ve got a super fun and funny sci-fi superhero story. And two, you’ve got a great example of how an author’s writing style choices can impact a story and character development.

I’ve got a copy in Room 3. You can also find it in the Scholastic Book Orders, if your teacher has online ordering set up. Check it out!

Keep reading!

Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities

By Mike Jung

307 pages

Genre: Science fiction; superheroes

Source: NetGalley, and then I got a copy on Scholastic Book Clubs

Available now

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Mr. S.! This review makes me really want to read Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities, especially because it’s funny AND it has some excellent writing craft. I’m wondering if it might be a bit too young for my 8th graders. Would they think it’s below them or does the humor captivate even upper middle schoolers? I’m currently reading The Dogs of Winter (Bobbie Pyron) and it’s a good one for readers who like dogs and are intrigued by a young boy who’s orphaned in Russia in the 1990s during the fall of the Soviet Union. Tons of children were left homeless and this book is based on a true story of a young boy who was abandoned and left to fend for himself on the streets at FOUR years old. Fortunately he was adopted and cared for by a pack of dogs. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? Give it a try. Happy New Year!!

  2. I need to read a copy of this. And I agree with Nancy about Dogs of Winter, but it might be a little old for your particular boys. If you have a guy book review on Friday, come join the party over at my blog and add your link!

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