Sunday 11 December 2022

Whatshisface - Gordon Korman

Whats His Face?
Gordon Korman
ISBN 9781338200188
eISBN 9781338200171

This is the 20th book I have read from Gordon Korman, most of them over the last few years. Earlier this year, in the summer of 2022, he published his 100th book. Yes you read that correctly, his hundredth book. My introduction to Korman’s works was the 39 Clues back in 2009. Having now read 20 of his books, it is hardly a drop in the buck, but with each one I read I am entertained and often challenged. If I read about a book a week in just under 2 years I will have read and reviewed all of his books. An ambitious project but it is a goal. My son often reads these books to me or with me. I picked up this to read on my own but have since recommended it to my son. 

My son and I started reading Gordon Korman books together a few years ago, when he was given one as an end of year gift by his teacher. She gave the whole class the same Scholastic edition and wrote a note to each student in the book. Prior to that I had a read a few of his contributions to the 39 Clues series and had enjoyed them. My Son and I have mostly been reading his more recent titles. This is a newer title and one that we had missed. I read this shortly after rereading Cue for Treason by Geoffrey Trease for the first time in over 30 years. It was really intriguing to see the difference between how Korman and Trease treated Shakespeare and his reputation. The description of this volume is:

“When 12-year-old Cooper Vega moves for the third time in five years, he receives a state-of-the-art smartphone to help him stay in touch with old friends. He's had phones before, but this one is buggy and unpredictable. When a boy named Roderick Northrop communicates with him through the phone, Cooper realizes the phone isn't buggy at all; the thing is haunted!”

The chapters in the story are:

Meet Whatshisface
Smartphone, Stupid Person
Shakespeare Town
Wrong Number?
The Ghost in the Machine
The Insult App
The Apprentice
They Call Him the Bard
The Greatest Love Story Ever Told
Four Full Mississippis
Go Big or Go Home
The Loose Nuke
Alistair’s Magical Window
Wherefore Art Thou?
Hipping and Hopping
The Wolfson Collection
Public Enemy Number One
Proof Positive
The Killer Cloud
The Anti-Whatshisface
Fourteen Minutes and Eleven Seconds
The Forbidden Gallery
Places, Everybody
This One’s for You
Under Arrest
A Gray Lie

Cooper Vega is what growing up we would have called a ‘base brat’, meaning that he was a kid of someone station at the military base in town and who knew how long he would be around. My Mother herself was one and lived all over Canada and even some postings in Europe. Now he is in his third town in 5 years. He is accustomed to being the outsider, and not developing deep relationships. The only real benefit of all the moving is the ‘guilt gifts’ from his parents each time it happens. This time it is the new state of the art phone the GX-4000. Soon Cooper realizes something is up with the phone, and that it is inhabited by a ghost. The ghost of Roderick Northrop a printer’s apprentice from the 15000’s who actually wrote the first 2/3rds of Romeo and Juliette. And together they come up with a plan. 

The story moves at a fast pace. There is a love interest, a bully, a ghost and a rich guy who blackmailed the town to change its name who is a huge Shakespeare buff. It was a great story especially for a fan of the Bard’s plays both in print and on stage. It was highly entertaining. A real page turner. Another excellent read from the always entertaining pen of Gordon Korman!  

Books by Gordon Korman:
MacDonald Hall Series:
The Wizzle War (1982)
         (formerly The War With Mr. Wizzle)
The Zucchini Warriors (1988)
Light’s Camera, Disaster (1991)
          (aka Macdonald Hall Goes Hollywood)
The Jokes on Us (1995)
          (formerly Something Fishy at Macdonald Hall)

Bugs Potter Series:

Jeremy Bloom Series:
The D−Poems of Jeremy Bloom (1992)
The Last-Place Sports Poems of Jeremy Bloom (1996)

Monday Night Football Series:
The Quarterback Exchange (1997)
Running Back Conversion (1997)
Super Bowl Switch (1997)
Heavy Artillery (1997)
Ultimate Scoring Machine (1998)
NFL Rules! Bloopers, Pranks, Upsets, and Touchdowns (1998)

Masterminds Series:

Slapshots Series:
The Stars From Mars (1999)
All-Mars All-Stars/The Dream Team (1999)
The Face-off Phony (2000)
Cup Crazy (2000)
Ouch I got slapped (2023)
4-in-1 Slapshots: The Complete Collection (2008)

Nose Pickers Series:
Nose Pickers from Outer Space! (1999)
Planet of the Nose Pickers (2000)
Your Mummy Is a Nose Picker (2000)
Invasion of the Nose Pickers (2001)
4-in-1 The Ultimate Nose-Picker Collection (2006)

Island Series:
Shipwreck (2001)
Survival (2001)
Escape (2001)
3-in-1 Island Trilogy Collection (2006)

Son of the Mob Series:
Son of the Mob 2: Hollywood Hustle (2004)

Everest Series:
The Contest (2002)
The Climb (2002)
The Summit (2002)
Everest Trilogy Box Set (2002)

Dive Series:
The Discovery (2003)
The Deep (2003)
The Danger (2003)

On the Run Series:
Now You See Them, Now You Don't (2005)
The Stowaway Solution (2005)
Public Enemies (2005)
Hunting the Hunter (2006)

Kidnapped Series:
The Search (2006)
The Rescue (2006)

Swindle Series:
Swindle (2008)
Zoobreak (2009)
Framed (2010)
Showoff (2012)
Hideout (2013)
Jackpot (2014)
Unleashed (2015)
Jingle (2016)

Titanic Series:
Unsinkable (2011)
Collision Course (2011)
S.O.S (2011)

The 39 Clues Series:
Vespers Rising (2011)
The Medusa Plot (2011)
Flashpoint (2014)

Hypnotists Series:
The Hypnotists (2013)
Memory Maze (2014)
The Dragonfly Effect (2015)

Ungifted Series:
Ungifted (2012)
Supergifted (2018)

Slacker Series:
Slacker (2016)
Level 13 (2019)

Non Series Books:
Radio 5th Grade (1989)
Losing Joe's Place (1990)
The Twinkie Squad (1992)
The Toilet Paper Tigers (1993)
Why Did the Underwear Cross the Road (1994)
The Chicken Doesn't Skate (1996)
No More Dead Dogs (2000)
Maxx Comedy: The Funniest Kid in America (2003)
Jake, Reinvented (2003)
Born To Rock (2006)
Schooled (2007)
Pop (2009)
Restart (2017)
Notorious (2019)
War Stories (2020)
Game On (contains The Chicken Doesn’t Skate and The Toilet Paper Tigers (2021)
Unplugged (2021)
Linked (2021)
The Fort (2022)

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