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  • Shredderman: Attack of the Tagger
  • Written by Wendelin Van Draanen
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  • Shredderman: Attack of the Tagger
  • Written by Wendelin Van Draanen
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307559654
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Written by Wendelin Van DraanenAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Wendelin Van Draanen

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List Price: $6.99

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On Sale: December 18, 2008
Pages: 176 | ISBN: 978-0-307-55965-4
Published by : Yearling RH Childrens Books
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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
READER'S GUIDE READER'S GUIDE
Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

Nolan Byrd single-handedly saved his school from the bullydom of Alvin “Bubba” Bixby. He posted proof of Bubba’s exploits on the Web at Shredderman.com. Now Shredderman is the school hero! But since Shredderman’s identity is a secret, everyone still treats Nolan like . . . a nerd.

But inside this nerd beats a superhero’s heart—one dedicated to truth and justice. So when a vandal spray-paints graffiti around town—and even on his teacher’s van!—Nolan decides that tracking down the tagger is a job for Shredderman.

But while he’s trying to trap the tagger, the tagger is trying to pin the blame on Shredderman! Can Nolan turn the tables back around before his secret identity is revealed?

Excerpt

CHAPTER 1
BUBBA BIXBY


Bubba Bixby was born big and mean, full of teeth and ready to bite.

That's what my mom thinks anyway.

My dad says a boy isn't born bad—he grows into being bad.

I don't know who's right. What I do know is that Bubba Bixby's got rocky knuckles.

And killer breath.

Teachers are always telling him to use words instead of fists—they have no idea what they're saying! Bubba-breath can knock you out cold.

Ask Ian McCoy. It actually happened to him in the third grade. When Bubba shouted at him, Ian's eyes rolled up in his head.

His knees buckled.

Then he blacked out and bit the dirt.

We had to slap his cheeks like crazy to get him to wake up, and when he did, he sat up, then threw up.

My father thinks I shouldn't call Bubba "Bubba" like everyone else does. He thinks I should call him Alvin, which is his real name. I've told him that calling him Alvin will get me pounded. Mike McDermish got dared to do it once and was nothing but Mike-mush when it was over. Now it's "Sure, Bubba" and "You betcha, Bubba" whenever he talks to him.

My mom and dad used to try to get the school to do something about Bubba. They talked to teachers. They even talked to the principal, Dr. Voss, a bunch of times. Nothing changed.

Dad thinks Dr. Voss isn't assertive enough. Dr. Voss thinks I'm not assertive enough. She says that kids like Bubba help us get ready for life.

Now that I'm a fifth grader, my dad tells me not to worry about Bubba. He says that I've got a lot more on the ball than Bubba does, and that one day Alvin Bixby will be working for me.

But he's wrong on two counts. First, that's forever away. And second, I wouldn't hire Bubba in a million years.

I'd fire him.

Say . . . what if I could fire Bubba from school? Wouldn't that be cool? Just kick him out and tell him to never come back. I could eat lunch without him flipping over my tray. Play four-square without him hogging the ball. Line up for class without him taking cuts and shoving the rest of us back. Oh, yeah. School without Bubba would be a whole new place.

I have to admit that our teacher, Mr. Green, tries to keep Bubba in line, but Mr. Green's already got one full-time job teaching fifth grade, and my mom says it's hard for him to take on another in the middle of it.

Plus, Bubba's sly. So no matter how hard Mr. Green tries, Bubba gets away with stuff.

Like lying.

And cheating.

And stealing.

My magic-rub eraser is in Bubba's desk right now with the initials B.B. gouged into it. So are some of my colored pencils. And probably my favorite The Gecko and Sticky magazine and the Dinosaurs library book I keep getting a reminder on.

It's not just my stuff that gets stolen. Bubba takes things from everybody. Even his friends, Kevin and Max. Actually, I think he steals from them the most.

The only thing Bubba's ever given anyone is names. I used to be Nolan Byrd. Now I'm Byrd-the-Nerd.

Or just plain Nerd.

Jake is Bucktooth. Trey is Butthead. Marvin is Moron. Todd is Toad, Ian is Fizz, Jenni is Worm-lips, Trinity is Pony-girl, Kayla is Freckle, Sarah is Kiss-up . . . everyone's got two names: one from their parents and one from Bubba.

His names stick, too. If Bubba calls you something a few times, you'll hear it over and over again from everyone. Some people like their names. Like Brian Washington. Even the teachers call him Gap because he wants them to. He doesn't have a gap between his front teeth anymore, but Bubba called him that in second grade, and he hasn't been Brian since.

So that's Bubba. He calls you names. He steals your stuff. He breathes putrid fumes in your face.

And even though I've always wanted to do something about it, I could never figure out what. I'm half Bubba's size and don't exactly want to die in elementary school.

So I just eat lunch far away from him, make room when he's cutting in line, and let him call me Nerd.

It's not fair, but at least I'm still alive.
Wendelin Van Draanen

About Wendelin Van Draanen

Wendelin Van Draanen - Shredderman: Attack of the Tagger
Books have always been a part of Wendelin Van Draanen’s life. Her mother taught her to read at an early age, and she has fond memories of story time with her father, when she and her brothers would cuddle up around him and listen to him read stories.
 
Growing up, Van Draanen was a tomboy who loved to be outside chasing down adventure. She did not decide that she wanted to be an author until she was an adult. When she tried her hand at writing a screenplay about a family tragedy, she found the process quite cathartic and from that experience, turned to writing novels for adults. She soon stumbled upon the joys of writing for children.
 
Feedback from her readers is Van Draanen’s greatest reward for writing. “One girl came up to me and told me I changed her life. It doesn't get any better than that,” she said. Van Draanen hopes to leave her readers with a sense that they have the ability to steer their own destiny—that individuality is a strength, and that where there's a will, there's most certainly a way.
 
Her first book was published in 1997, and since then her titles have won many awards. Now in its sixteenth installment, the Sammy Keyes Mysteries have been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Children’s Mystery five times, with Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief bringing home the statue. Additionally, she has won the Christopher medal for Shredderman: Secret Identity, the California Young Reader Medal for Flipped, and the Schneider Family Book Award for The Running Dream. Her books have been translated into many foreign languages, Shredderman became a Nickelodeon made-for-TV movie, and Flipped was released as a feature film, directed by Rob Reiner. She lives in California with her husband and two sons. Her hobbies include the “Three R’s”: Reading, Running and Rock ’n’ Roll. 
 
Fun Facts
Born January 6 in Chicago, IL 
 
Previous Jobs
Forklift driver, coach (sports), musician, high school math and computer science teacher 
 
Inspiration for writing
The past, the future, and the struggle for a happy ending!
 
Favorites
. . . food: sushi
. . . clothes to wear: Sneakers, shorts, and sweatshirts
. . . colors: Emerald green with a splash of midnight blue
Teachers Guide

Teacher's Guide



NOTE TO TEACHERS

Nolan Byrd is a great kid who feels “invisible.”
With no friends and a bully named Bubba
constantly hounding him, school isn’t an easy
place to be. It’s a good thing that Nolan has
terrific parents who support him, and a cool
teacher who inspires him. Fed up with Bubba
and his bullying ways, Nolan creates a Web site
for his alter ego, cyber-superhero Shredderman.
As Shredderman, Nolan exposes Bubba the
bully, and along the way, discovers that the
fight for truth and justice is bigger and more
important than his own problems.

ABOUT THIS BOOK

Someone is spray-painting dumb baby faces all over Cedar Valley, and some people
think Shredderman is responsible! It’s up to Nolan to expose the tagger’s true identity
and clear Shredderman’s good name.

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

Growing up,
Wendelin Van
Draanen
was a
tomboy who loved
to be outside chasing
down adventure. She
did not decide that
she wanted to be an
author until she was
an adult. When she
tried her hand at writing a screenplay about a family
tragedy, she found the process quite cathartic, and
from that experience, turned to writing novels for adults.
She soon stumbled upon the joys of writing for children.
Van Draanen lives with her husband and two sons in
California.


Q. What inspired you to write the Shredderman
series?
A.
A confluence of several things: having been
bullied as a child; seeing my oldest son ostracized at
school; being a computer science teacher; and observing
that kids find ways to bully other kids.
I wanted to create something fun, fast-paced,
and substantive that would help spark a love
of reading.
Q. What do you like best about your character
Nolan Byrd?
A.
That he’s a champion of the underdog. He’s undaunted,
creative, enthusiastic, and is such
a sweet kid.
Q. What has been the best compliment you’ve ever
received from a child about the Shredderman
series?
A.
The most touching comment came from a shy fourthgrade
boy who approached me after a school visit and
whispered, “I wish Shredderman went to our school.”
I leaned forward and whispered back, “He does.”
Then I tapped him on the chest and said, “He’s right
inside. You just have to let him out.”

DISCUSSION AND WRITING

1. What is vandalism? Why is writing
graffiti on public structures a
form of vandalism? Why do taggers—
people who paint graffiti—
deface property when they know it’s
a crime? What are more positive
ways to creatively express yourself?
2. On pages 55 and 56, Nolan
recounts how his feelings were hurt
by kids who wrote cruel comments
in his fourth-grade yearbook. Discuss
this passage and have students
respond to Nolan’s questions, “Why
did they have to be mean like that?
Did they really think it was funny?”
3. Sometimes Nolan feels like
he’s invisible. Reread the last
paragraph on page 91 and
continue through the first three
lines on page 92. Ask students to
discuss situations in which they have
felt invisible. Challenge students to
befriend someone they don’t know,
invite a student who is eating lunch
alone to join their table, or include a
new student in a game during recess.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

1. Shredderman is on a quest for
truth and justice. Brainstorm with
your class about some societal
problems of concern to students.
Examples might be homelessness,
the environment, or the excess stray
animal population. As a class, choose
one issue as a “class cause.” Help
students devise ways in which they
can help out, such as conducting
a clothing drive, organizing a neighborhood
clean-up day, or sponsoring
a pet-adoption event with your local
animal shelter.
2. Keith Haring was a former tagger
who became a well-known painter.
His graffiti-inspired style became
popular in the 1980s, and his work
hangs in museums all over the world.
Partner with the school art teacher to
introduce students to the work of
Keith Haring. Have students create
their own art work inspired by the
late artist’s unique style.
3. Invite a local police officer to
speak to students about vandalism
in the community. Have students
prepare questions for the speaker
in advance of the visit.

VOCABULARY

Vandal (p. 22), scour (p. 26), anonymous (p. 28), tweaked (p. 31), invincible (p. 33), indignant (p. 72),
delinquents
(p. 94), mortal (p. 98), schizophrenic (p. 106), Fahrenheit (p. 119), erratic (p. 124), and yakky (p. 126).

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