for Rex Zero, King of Nothing
by Tim Wynne-Jones
Rex has matriculated to sixth grade, where he encounters complex situa tions that challenge him to examine his shortcomings. At home, he struggles to live up to his father’s expectations. In his Rex Zero, Private Eye, persona, he stumbles across a maiden in distress who triggers questions about his values: bullying, truthfulness, and friendship. The most terrifying quandary Rex faces, however, is admitting his actions have repercussions that extend beyond his expectations. Rex Zero, King of Nothing is a well-drawn dynamic character who faces situations that will be uncomfortably familiar to many readers. 2009 USBBY Outstanding International Books List. lmp
Originally published by Ground wood Books Canada, in 2007.
Bridges to Understanding: Envisioning the World through Children's Books. © USBBY, 2011. Used with permission.
Rex and his friends begin grade six against the backdrop of the 1962 Ban the Bomb protests on Parliament Hill. But once again it is trouble on the home front that has Rex's attention. Why is his father so insistent that Rex go with him to the November Remembrance Day services, and why does Dad become so sad at this time every year? Why does he have a stash of secret photographs and letters -- written in German? How can Rex deal with the new teacher, Miss Garr, a manipulative bully?Yet all these problems pale when Rex finds an abandoned address book in a phone booth and sets out to find its owner. When the owner turns out to be the beautiful but desperate Natasha, the victim of an abusive husband, Rex finds himself wishing he had heroic powers so he could rescue this damsel in distress. Storybook solutions, it turns out, are no match for real-life adult problems, and once again Rex finds the answer in his own ingenuity and with the help of good friends.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.