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N.E.R.D.S. National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society.jpg
Cover of the first book NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society
National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society
M is for Mama's Boy
The Cheerleaders of Doom
The Villain Virus
Attack of the Bullies
Author Michael Buckley
Illustrator Ethen Beavers
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's espionage-thriller
Publisher Amulet Books
Published 2009-2013
Media type Print (hardcover and paperback)

N.E.R.D.S is a children's thriller humorous series written by Michael Buckley and illustrated by Ethen Beavers. The first novel is called N.E.R.D.S.: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society and it is from Jackson "Braceface" Jones 's point of view. The second novel is called N.E.R.D.S.: M is for Mama's Boy and is from Duncan "Gluestick" Dewey's point of view. The third novel is called N.E.R.D.S.: The Cheerleaders of Doom, which is told from Matilda "Wheezer" Choi's point of view. The fourth novel is called N.E.R.D.S.: The Villain Virus, which is told from Julio "Flinch" Escala's point of view. The fifth novel is called N.E.R.D.S.: Attack of the Bullies, which is told from Ruby "Pufferfish" Peet's point of view.[1] An animated feature film based on the series is in development at Elton John's Rocket Pictures.[1]


N.E.R.D.S. (National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society) contains children with considerably "nerdy" upgrades. Michael Buckley has announced that there will be five books in total.[2] Each one will be told from the point of view of a different secret agent. It is mentioned that all N.E.R.D.S. are automatically retired when they turn eighteen, which is the legal consent age for adults. The headquarters is under the main setting, Nathan Hale Elementary, in Arlington, Virginia, Thomas Knowlton Middle School in Books 4 and 5 (because they grew up and went into 6th grade).


  1. N.E.R.D.S.: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society (2009)[3]
  2. N.E.R.D.S.: M is for Mama's Boy (2010)[4]
  3. N.E.R.D.S.: The Cheerleaders of Doom (2011)[5]
  4. N.E.R.D.S.: The Villain Virus (2012)
  5. N.E.R.D.S.: Attack of the Bullies (2013) [6]

Main characters[edit]

  • Jackson "Braceface" Jones - An athletic boy and former football star. He comes off as cocky and arrogant, but is actually very insecure and craves acceptance. His upgrades have enhanced his braces, allowing them to transform into any mechanical device and thing he can think of, the downside being they stay attached to his teeth the entire time. There also seems to be a mutual attraction between him and Mindy "The Hyena" He is the one of the three N.E.R.D.S who has told their family about their job. The first book is told from his point of view. He's the main protagonist of the first book. His mother has died but the reason why is unknown.
  • Matilda "Wheezer" Choi - A spunky Korean-American girl who loves professional wrestling and can use anything and everything as a weapon. She suffers from bronchial asthma and cannot even walk around the block without getting winded. Her upgrades are two nano-enhanced inhalers that enable her to fly and blast enemies. She's a proud tomboy with six brothers: Marky, Max, Michael, Moses, Mickey, and Mobi, ever battling parents, and a hatred for anything "girly". The third book is told from her point of view. It is shown that she was diagnosed with asthma at a young age, and after months of sleepless nights and a longing for a loving family, the ability to do physical activities, and household pets, she joined the N.E.R.D.S. after she met Flinch. During the third book she received two other inhalers, one to increase her jumping height while using stealth, the other to allow her to breathe underwater. At the end of the third book she no longer was bothered by cheerleading (if not enjoyed it) and told her parents about her job. She reveals she has a small crush on Gluestick in the third book and she kisses him on the nose in book 2. As far as we know she is the only one from out of state as she is from San Francisco, California.
  • Heathcliff "Choppers/Simon/Screwball/Brainstorm" Hodges - A very intelligent but frequently bullied boy. His upgrade is a specially designed psycho-hallucinogenic whitening treatment which is further enhanced by a special toothpaste that allows him to hypnotize people and control minds with his buck teeth. He betrays the group at the end of the first book as it turns out that he was behind the scheme. He wants to rule a world where knowledge and learning is important out of a hatred for bullies and the years of humiliation that he suffered under Jackson. In the second book, he gets a guy who had a dream of being a superhero to make him a ray gun that takes over any computer. His two front teeth are knocked clean off during a fight with Gluestick at the climax of the book. He is transported to a mental facility in the third book and goes crazy, thus dubbing himself Screwball. He secretly helps Mathlete in making a teleporting device to alternate universes out of a plan to have the NERDS asking for his assistance. He and Mathlete are then partnered to find a way to seal the holes in the dimensions that Mathlete's machine had created. He tricks Mathlete into transporting themselves to am alternate universe where the NERDS have been captured by aliens, and in an attempt to regain his lost front teeth in the upgrade chair, he instead receives new upgrades which increase the size of his brain and skull, affording him psychokinetic powers including telekinesis and heat vision. He teleports himself back to his own universe, and even though he strips all the NERDS but Wheezer of their nanobytes, he is defeated when Wheezer shoots a stone statue at his head, knocking him unconscious. By the end of the third book after being defeated Brand said that they were going to kept pumping sleeping drugs into him to keep him under control. While drugged, the nanobytes that he received from the alternate universe have been spreading a virus that makes everyone think that they are superior, thus turning them into villains. At the end of the fourth book, the alternate nanobytes are shut down by Flinch and his upgrades are removed, returning his head to normal. When he wakes, he has no memory of his past as a villain. He is re-recruited in the 5th book, where he constantly tries to provide aid to his teammates, but finds himself continually rejected due to his teammates still being skeptical of his past actions. Additionally, Heathcliff is also trying to concoct a potion so that he can reunite with his parents (whose memories of him were erased after he was presumed dead). When Miss Holiday (now Miss Information) forms her own team of students with upgrades (B.U.L.L.I.E.S.) and goes back in time to erase the N.E.R.D.S. from existence, Heathcliff and Ruby are the only N.E.R.D.S. left. They team up with Brand (who had gone into retirement) and go back in time to prevent Miss Information from erasing Ruby from existence while joining forces with the N.E.R.D.S. of the 20th century. While there, Heathcliff has one of the 20th century N.E.R.D.S. repair Benjamin (who was previously damaged during the fourth book), and when the B.U.L.L.I.E.S. go back to the present to destroy the world, Heathcliff follows and manages to arrive before they do. While preparing, Heathcliff manages to reactivate Benjamin, who shows Heathcliff his past as a villain, causing Heathcliff to suffer a mental breakdown before regaining his composure and attempt to resume his evil ways. When he tries to regain upgrades, however, Heathcliff is told that his weakness is his loneliness from having no parents before losing consciousness. While unconscious, Heathcliff sees an alternate reality where he never became evil and instead pursued a happy life with him becoming a scientist and having a beloved family. Confronted by his alternate self, Heathcliff is convinced that it's not too late to change and realize there's more to gain than taking over the world. After waking up, Heathcliff chooses to aid the N.E.R.D.S. in their fight against the B.U.L.L.I.E.S. by recruiting the rest of the students and giving them upgrades. By the end of the battle, the B.U.L.L.I.E.S. are defeated and Heathcliff reunites with his parents through his unknown upgrades that restores their memories through a hug, becomes good friends with Jackson, and officially rejoins the N.E.R.D.S.
  • Duncan "Gluestick" Dewey - A chubby African-American boy who is friendly to most people. He loves any sort of technology and eating paste. His upgrades have enhanced the paste he loves to eat, enabling him to stick to any surface. He is one of the three agents who have told their families about their secret. The second book is told from his point of view. It is shown that at his former school, he was dared into drinking a jar of paste in art class. The paste eating become an attraction At the beginning of the book when they lose their abilities he feels small, weak, and powerless in every way, and at the end of the second book, he knocked out Simon's buck teeth to make him powerless, showing he got over it. His possible romantic interest is Wheezer.
  • Julio "Flinch" Escala - A hyperactive Mexican-American boy. Described as a walking ball of energy spiked by the large numbers of candy bars, cookies, and sugary sodas he consumes everyday. His upgrade is a special harness that converts his hyperactive energy into super speed and strength. Without his harness he is visibly shaking non-stop. He is also addicted to sugar as told when we learn what he often has for lunch. He also has a strong aversion to romance. His catchphrase is "I am mighty!" and usually following it is banging his fists on his chest. Julio is Duncan's best friend. He's the main character of the fourth book.
  • Ruby "Pufferfish" Peet - A stubborn but smart Jewish girl. She suffers from the absolute worst allergies in documented history. Her upgrades have enhanced her allergies to the point where they border on psychic abilities, allowing her to detect such as danger, dishonesty, etc. She also is the current leader of the team. She is the main character of the last book.
  • Mindy "The Hyena" Beauchamp - A former junior beauty pageant queen, and skilled martial artist who wanted to become a professional assassin. She was a freelance worker, but now works for N.E.R.D.S on a currently classified project. She does not have an upgrade, but she naturally possesses an obnoxious laugh that causes anyone that hears it to laugh as well. She is irritated when people discover her real name. She trained Matilda in cheerleading in the third book, taking time out of a very important mission to do so. She is the romantic interest of Braceface, and appears to return his feelings. At the end of The Villain Virus, she is appointed to a group called Troublemakers, a N.E.R.D.S. group.
  • Agent Alexander Brand - He is one of the best secret agents in the world and introduced the N.E.R.D.S. to Jackson Jones. He has a white cane because of the injury having been caused by an unknown explosion. He sees himself in Jackson and wants him to join the team. He often doubts that the team can do the job right and has threatened to disband the team several times, to the point where he removed Duncan from the team for a few days until he saw Duncan's potential. As of the third book, he is dating Ms. Holiday. He is said to have retired in The Villain Virus.
  • General Savage - A hulk of muscle - he is said to have fought in fourteen wars and to have started ten of them just for practice. He does not like Agent Brand dnd's cane, and it is mentioned that whenever he is uncomfortable, he loses his temper. It is also said that his hands are large and has a bullet shaped head.
  • Dumb Vinci/The Antagonist - A goon who worked for Dr. Jigsaw and currently for Simon. He lost his hand in the first book and has a hook to replace it. He had to give up piano because of this. He is just called a goon in the second book from the protolog to the point to where he is electrocuted trying to kill Duncan. During the third book, he is sprayed with poison in the face by a giant grasshopper, severely damaging his face. At the end of the third book, he dons Simon's skull mask and takes on his own villain identity as The Antagonist.
  • Ms. Lisa Holiday/Miss Information - She is the librarian at Nathan Hale Elementary, and in book 1 she gives the team cookies for good luck, which Jackson says tastes like vinegar and are hard as rock. The cookies were shown to be also a good stand-in for ninja stars by The Hyena. She is Agent Brand's girlfriend. In The Villain Virus when she is infected, she becomes a villain known as "Miss Information",and in the end of the book, she is still evil. In the last book it was revealed that she was a spy from Siberia named Viktoriya Deprankova.
  • Gerdie "Mathlete" Baker a former member of N.E.R.D.S. and a prodigy at math. In the third book she was able to create a machine that takes her to other worlds for ten minutes After robbing many of them she was able to afford plastic surgery to make herself pretty. Her upgrades allow her to process complex problems at lightning speed. She and her two sisters are triplets. After attempting to save the entire multiverse, Heathcliff trapped her in an alternate dimension, where she started working with that dimension's Benjamin to save that Earth's population from aliens.
  • The Lunch Lady - A man disguised as a lunch lady who flies the N.E.R.D.S. rocket/jet, called "The School Bus." Also loves cooking, cleaning his bazooka, and knife fighting with terrorists. Real name is currently unknown.
  • Ms. Dove- The principle of Thomas Knowltown Middle School, she took a disliking to Flinch, who she classified as a juvenile delinquent and tried to expel from the school. She also got infected with the virus and called herself Colonel Cuckoo.
  • Albert Nesbitt/Captain Justice/Captain Upgrade - A 37-year-old overweight computer genius and superhero fan who likes to read comic books and owns many T-shirts with superhero logos on them. He becomes one of Simon's Minions and only appears in the second book. He gains the upgrades to gain new powers by adapting technology implanted into his body.
  • Gertrude "Mama" Nesbitt - Albert Nesbitt's 67-year-old mother who encouraged him to become a scientist. Whenever he became a villain, she went with the idea. Towards the end of the second book, she nearly killed Duncan when she rammed her car into him. She also fell out of the rocket at the end of the second book while wrestling with Gluestick. It is not known if she survived the fall, but most likely not.
  • Avery Dewey - Duncan's father appears in the second book. He does not appreciate technology much, he has a job as a mechanic, and he has been working on a 1968 Ford Mustang since before Duncan was born.
  • Aiah Dewey - Duncan's mother, who is quite a bit like her husband in the sense that she does not care for technology. She transferred Duncan to Nathan Hale Elementary out of concern for his safety.
  • Tanisha "The Creature" Dewey - Duncan's older sister who is called The Creature. She is bratty and annoying, and is secretly jealous of her younger brother, Duncan, because he gets so much attention.
  • Benjamin - A blue floating orb that is the N.E.R.D.S supercomputer and Duncan's holographic clothing store. He takes on the holographic form of Benjamin Franklin, one of the world's earliest spies. He is the one who gives the N.E.R.D.S their upgrades.
  • Mr. Jonathan Pfieffer - The team's 27-year-old 5th-grade teacher who does not know much about anything. He spends less time teaching and more time talking about his personal life. Several topics include lifting weights, his steady stream of girlfriends, and that he was on a commercial for toilet paper in 1985.
  • Captain Blancard "Fishhead" - The captain of the N.E.R.D.S. sailing crew. He was a member of N.E.R.D.S from 1973 to 1983.
  • Principal Dehaven- The Nathan Hale Elementary's Principal who always has to see Jackson in his office because he was late due to his training.
  • Brett Bealer Brett Bealer was once Jackson's friend but turned against him. Brett is a relation of Duncan's old school friend.
  • Steve Sarver Steve Sarver was one of Jackson's old friends who also turned against him.
  • Dr.Lunich Lunich was a brave athlete and also a scientist. He stood up to Dr. Jigsaw in book 1 but Dr. Jigsaw killed him by making him fall into a fire pit. Dr.Lunich had also made a tractor beam that Dr. Jigsaw was very interested about.

Plot synopses[edit]

N.E.R.D.S.: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society (2009)[edit]

Dr. Jigsaw and Simon or Heathcliff "Choppers" hatches a plot to change the surface of the earth. Newly recruited Jackson "Braceface" and the rest of the N.E.R.D.S have to stop him.

N.E.R.D.S.: M is for Mama's Boy (2010)[edit]

Duncan "Gluestick " Dewey and the rest of the team are going up against rogue agent Heathcliff "Choppers" Hodges,computer genius Albert, and an army of squirrels who are planning to sterilize worldwide computers. Things get more complicated when the team are stripped of their powers and have to rely on their resources to save the day.

N.E.R.D.S.: The Cheerleaders of Doom (2011)[edit]

When a device that can warp through alternate dimensions is built by cheerleader and former N.E.R.D.S. member Gerdie "Mathlete" Baker, Matilda "Wheezer" Choi, who has a hatred for anything girly must set that aside to infiltrate a cheerleading camp and root her out before the worlds collide. In the end Gerdie gets trapped in the multiverse when Heathcliff tries to take over the world.

N.E.R.D.S.: The Villain Virus (2012)[edit]

A deadly virus that turns people into villains spreads through Arlington and Julio "Flinch" Escala must lead the team, who can be infected any minute, into stopping the virus while former goon Dumb Vinci has an agenda of his own.

N.E.R.D.S.: Attack of the Bullies (2013)[edit]

Miss Holiday, who is now the evil Miss Information, has assembled her own team of kids with their own super nanobyte upgrades, naming them the Brotherhood of Unstoppable Liars, Lowlifes, and Intimidating Enemies of Society (aka the BULLIES), who plan to go back in time and prevent N.E.R.D.S. from ever existing. Ruby "Pufferfish" Peet's teammates begin to vanish one by one, and she enlists Agent Brand and Heathcliff Hodges to go back to the 1970s and help the original nerdy secret agents make sure that the future is not erased from existence.


In January 2012 it was reported that Elton John's Rocket Pictures had acquired film rights to the series, to produce an animated family feature film. The film will be scripted by the series' creator, Michael Buckley, produced by Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish, and executive produced by Elton John.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Fleming, Mike (January 20, 2012). "Elton John’s Rocket Pictures Turning Kidbook ‘Nerds’ Into Animated Feature". Deadline. Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ Lodge, Sally (September 17, 2009). "Amulet Series Delivers Good News to Nerds". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ "NERDS National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society (Book One)". Abrams Books. Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ "NERDS Book Two: M Is for Mama's Boy". Abrams Books. Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  5. ^ "NERDS Book Three: The Cheerleaders of Doom". Abrams Books. Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  6. ^ "NERDS Book Five: Attack of the Bullies". Retrieved March 21, 2013. 

External links[edit]