Synopses & Reviews
You wouldnt expect Nate and Charlie to be friends. Charlies the laid-back captain of the basketball team, and Nate is the neurotic, scheming president of the robotics club. But they are friends, however unlikely—until Nate declares war on the cheerleaders. At stake is funding that will either cover a robotics competition or new cheerleading uniforms—but not both.
It's only going to get worse: after both parties are stripped of their funding on grounds of abominable misbehavior, Nate enrolls the club's robot in a battlebot competition in a desperate bid for prize money. Bad sportsmanship? Sure. Chainsaws? Why not. Running away from home on Thanksgiving to illicitly enter a televised robot death match? Of course!
In Faith Erin Hicks' and Prudence Shen's world of high school class warfare and robot death matches, Nothing can possibly go wrong.
"When the school budget only allows for either new cheerleading uniforms or funding for a robotics competition, students at Hollow Ridge High take matters into their own hands in this exuberant escapade. At the center of the story are Charlie and Nate, neighbors and childhood friends who have stayed close despite drifting into different cliques (Charlie is the captain of the basketball team, while Nate heads up the robotics club). Debut author Shen and illustrator Hicks (Friends with Boys) employ high school mainstays neurotic nerds, hive-minded cheerleaders, oblivious parents, and a contentious class election but put a fresh spin on them, aligning the book with more recent teen phenomena such as Glee rather than, say, the films of John Hughes. Shen's plot ably balances drama, humor, angst, and robotic geekery, giving the book an immediate YA appeal, but one that's broad enough to be enjoyable to older readers, as well. Visually, Hicks's wide-eyed, inky b&w panels infuse the characters with real emotion and personality, capturing the book's heartfelt youthfulness. Ages 12 up. Author's agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. Illustrator's agent: Bernadette Baker-Baughman, Victoria Sanders & Associates. (May)Ã¢Â–" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Prudence Shen is a writer and caffeine addict who pays rent in New York even though she mostly lives in airports. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is her first book. She loves robots. Not like that.
Faith Erin Hicks is a writer and artist in Halifax, Canada. Her first two graphic novels, Zombies Calling and The War at Ellsmere, were published by SLG Publishing. She has illustrated First Seconds Brain Camp and wrote and illustrated 2012's Friends With Boys, a coming of age story with supernatural elements and a musical about zombies. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is her most recent graphic novel.
Reading Group Guide
There are a lot of cliques in this book: jocks, cheerleaders, and geeks. Are cliques inclusive or exclusive in your opinion? How do you feel about them?
When Nate tries to run for student body president, his friend tells him that he is “literally trying to win a popularity contest.” Do you agree that being voted for student body president is based on how popular you are? Could the answer be different in another school?
How is Charlie feeling when his mom tells him that she is remarrying? What does he mean when he says to her,“I thought you were supposed to be happy with us”?
Describe Charlie and Nates friendship. They dont belong to the same clique, but they are still friends. What has bound them together all of these years?
Charlie has a difficult time communicating with his parents. How important is communication in a relationship? What happens when there is no communication between two people, like Charlie and his dad and mom?
The gang decides to skip Thanksgiving with their families in order to attend the Robot Rumble. Would you make the same decision? How understanding would your family be about it?
At the Robot Rumble, Team Opera Rock tells Charlie, “We dont like your kind here at the rumble.” What do they mean by that?
What are some stereotypes that are contradicted in Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong?