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Attack of the Tagger: Shredderman #2

Review

Attack of the Tagger: Shredderman #2

Nolan Byrd has a secret superhero identity. He is Shredderman, who single-handedly saved his school from the bullying of Bubba Bixby. In SHREDDERMAN: ATTACK OF THE TAGGER, the second book in the Shredderman series, Nolan has a new problem: someone is painting graffiti all over Nolan's town and trying to blame it on Shredderman. Nolan must try to catch the tagger while keeping his superhero identity secret.

Armed with his digital camera, a popular website, and an email list that includes everyone in school, Nolan sets out to discover the identity of the tagger. He suspects the principal's son but needs proof before anyone will believe him. Nolan's resourceful use of technology is a big part of his Shredderman identity, but Shredderman also forces him to push his limits of physical endurance. One hilarious spy mission has Nolan hiding in a smelly trash bag with flaps cut in the side to see and a straw to help him breathe.

A number of new issues are introduced in SHREDDERMAN: ATTACK OF THE TAGGER. The issue of privacy is a big part of this book. The backpacks and desks of all the children are searched for spray paint. Law enforcement officials get involved. Nolan worries that they will trace his website, which is registered under his parents' names. All the sneaking around he has done trying to catch the tagger makes him a suspect in the case.

Nolan is lucky to have supportive adults in his life: his parents give him a lot of freedom, he knows people in his community, and he even has an adult sidekick! What he continues to lack, though, is friends his own age. Shredderman may be the school hero, but his classmates still treat Nolan like he's a nerd. It would be nice to see Nolan's Shredderman identity help give him the confidence to make new friends.

As usual, author Wendelin Van Draanen uses humor to explore issues that impact young people. SHEDDERMAN: ATTACK OF THE TAGGER features a number of embarrassing moments for Nolan, and enough potty humor to keep readers engaged. Dynamic illustrations by Brian Biggs highlight the book's humor. The Shredderman.com website also adds an interactive element to the Shredderman series. The website includes some excellent tips for budding reporters. This, together with Van Draanen's message that kids have the potential to be heroes, is likely to inspire young readers to seek truth and justice in their own communities.

Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood on August 10, 2004

Attack of the Tagger: Shredderman #2
by Wendelin Van Draanen

  • Publication Date: August 10, 2004
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0375823522
  • ISBN-13: 9780375823527