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Summary: Arthur is bright, quiet, and studious by nature. Three classmates have been making his life miserable, and Arthur is scared and frustrated. Help comes to young Arthur, the class nerd, via a computer fantasy when he discovers "The Game," which allows him to get revenge on the bullies. At first, Arthur, felt justified in inflicting pain on the bullies. As the game continued, it ratcheted up the level of painful consequences for the bullies, Arthur becomes uncomfortable about what he’s doing. Has the computer taken over his life? Is his goal to seriously injure the bullies? Has he gone too far to redeem himself? This is a fantasy adventure book for teens.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 10 to 13
Young Reader Reaction: The Computer’s Nerd will be a good read for children ages 10 and up. The author lets his readers know how universal the problem of bullying is and how common it is for those bullied to fear getting help. The reader gets to journey through Arthur’s moral struggle, thus, learning their own lesson in vengeance and lies. There is even a glimpse into a young boy’s budding love in the mix. As a school counselor, I was captivated while reading all the while hoping for a good outcome. I was not disappointed! I will recommend this book to children at the school where I work. The story is a good example to all populations at school (and maybe even the adult workforce arena) for teaching life-skills lessons in what to do and what not to do when you have a bully in your life.
Adult Reader Reaction: As with all of W. Royce Adams’ books, the reader gets an exciting story, one to which he or she can easily relate.
Pros: The author knows his audience and captures their attention from page one. His stories are ones to which middle school readers can easily relate. The “real life” situations that Adams integrates into the stories are familiar to readers and provide opportunities for thoughtful consideration and discussion about life and growing up with peers and adults.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. As with all of W. Royce Adams’ books, the reader gets an exciting story, one to which he or she can easily relate. The characters are familiar, the plot is believable and realistic, and the pace of the story keeps the reader glued to the pages.
Educational Themes: The book's theme is dealing with bullies. The value of the book is that it accurately describes the fear and pain that gratuitous cruelty engenders in teenagers and the difficulty of dealing with the problem as a young teenager. The author portrays the problem so realistically and generically that a teacher or parent can easily use the story as a discussion starter for students.
Literary Categories: Fiction - self worth, problem solving, school, life lessons