Invisible creatures are attacking the school, and a 12-year-old boy is the only one who can stop them in this fun, hilarious middle grade novel.
Okay, so maybe Bartholomew Bean is only a hero in the video game app he created. But if he reveals his identity as the genius behind the game, he'll become the most popular kid in school! Or he could secretly use the game to get back at his bullies . . .
Press Button A: RevealPress Button B: Revenge
Which would you choose?
This illustrated novel blends coding, video games, aliens, and bullies into one snarky stew. Bartholomew Bean, unassuming new kid at school, wears his self-given title of "most boring middle schooler in the universe" like a badge of honor. That's because he's concealing a thrilling secret project: a virtual reality game app. "Boring Bart" endures transgressions from three school bullies all day, and at home brushes off bonding attempts from his sports-obsessed father in favor of tweaking his game. When his app goes viral, Bart wrestles with whether to reveal his identity and use the app to get back at his tormentors. A frenzied denouement livestreamed for all to see sort of allows both. Patterson and Swierczynski pepper their text with tech terms and serve up breezy pacing and of-the-moment subject matter. Bart's narration sometimes has an overly knowing tone that can prove grating, but its teamwork-themed conclusion is laudable, and the final pages nicely tee up Bart's promised next outing. Ages 8 12.