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|Lenny Cyrus, school virus|
Author: Schreiber, Joe
Told from three viewpoints, thirteen-year-old scientific genius Lenny Cyrus shrinks himself and, helped by his best friend Harlan, enters the body of Zooey, the girl he has loved since third grade, hoping to physically change her mind about him on the very day her play opens.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 157780
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 60311
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Craft & Structure
Kirkus Reviews (03/15/13)
School Library Journal (03/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (06/13)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2013 Gr 6–8—Lenny Cyrus, 13, may be a genius, but he doesn't know the first thing about getting his crush, Zooey Andrews, to like him. After discovering how to miniaturize the atoms in a living organism, he is able to shrink lab rats to microscopic size and feels certain he could shrink himself as well. His plan is to travel through Zooey's body and change her mind about him from inside her brain. His friend Harlan tries to be the voice of reason and talk Lenny out of his dangerous, and morally questionable, plan, but Lenny won't be gainsaid, and Harlan reluctantly agrees to help to keep both Lenny and Zooey safe. His job is further complicated when Lenny's Nobel Prize-winning parents turn up at school looking for their son, who is otherwise occupied trying to figure out a way past Zooey's blood-brain barrier. Meanwhile, Zooey is behaving erratically. The fast-paced story unfolds through the alternating viewpoints of the three eighth graders. As the narrative moves quickly into Lenny's "fantastic voyage," a subplot involving the inattention of his parents lacks development, given the role it plays in Lenny's decisions. Illustrations scattered throughout highlight the various anthropomorphized cells, molecules, and viruses Lenny encounters on his adventure. Though readers will likely guess the true culprits behind Zooey's life-threatening illness, the humor and quick pace may be enough to keep them reading.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2013 Look up “geek” in the dictionary and you’ll find Lenny, the son of two Nobel prize-winning scientists, who has the genius chops to outstrip both of his parents. Predictably, he’s also bully bait at his middle school, and he’s hopelessly in love with Zooey, who saved him from a particularly nasty bully in third grade but hasn’t really noticed him much since. His best friend, Harlan, could be cool if he wanted, but he chooses to stay by Lenny’s side and protect Lenny from his own worst instincts, which usually include brilliant experiments that go brilliantly wrong. When Lenny comes up with a plan to literally change Zooey’s mind about him from the inside by shrinking himself down to the size of a virus and entering her bloodstream, Harlan goes along with Lenny for damage control. Damage definitely ensues, but this time Lenny isn’t wholly to blame and is given the opportunity to save the day, even if he doesn’t get the girl. There is a serious ick factor here as Lenny describes his wild ride through Zooey’s body, meeting up with talking viruses, partying hormones, and lunk-headed steroids and getting bashed around by muscles spasming and contracting and generally just doing their thing, but budding scientists and future doctors will find the interactions among the genetic particles fascinating and even enlightening. While Lenny’s invasion and manipulation of Zooey’s outsides through her insides is actually creepily unethical, the questionable moral dimension of his actions is called out by Harlan; Lenny is ultimately redeemed when he notices who really dominates Zoe’s imagination and when he saves her life from an invasion of another set of microscopic miscreants. The action is fast, furious, and even funny for middle-schoolers with strong stomachs and fond memories of similar journeys on Ms. Frizzle’s Magic School Bus. KC - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.