Welcome to Dweeb Club, by Betsy Uhrig, for Timeslip Tuesday

Trying to change the past is often the goal of time travelers, whether it's killing Hitler, or making sure to be in the right place at the right time to meet the right person. Betsy Uhrig has come up with a fresh twist to this type of story in Welcome To Dweeb Club, (September 2021, Margaret K. McElderry Books) that's a fun story of a bunch of 7th graders who find themselves the ones being visited by the future....

At the start of seventh grade, Jason and his friend Steve are confronted with bewildering fair of clubs they could join.  Amongst the panoply and promotion is one odd club, H.A.I.R. There's no description, nothing to try to make it alluring; there's just a piece of paper on which no one has signed their name.  Jason and Steve seize the chance to be founding members....and when other kids see Glamorous Steve, as he's known, signing up, they do to.

So H.A.I.R. ends up with with 8 seventh graders, who are surprised to learn that the club will be in charge of monitoring the school's ritzy new security cameras (donated with the stipulation that H.A.I.R be created for this purpose).  The kids are a mixed lot, but all are eager to mess with their new tech, and they are given a tiny room down in the basement, and start going through the security footage.

The footage proves more interesting then they could have guessed.  They see themselves in the school cafeteria, five years in the future!  None of them are happy about what they see.

And so they set themselves to figuring out what's going on, determined to change the future.  In the processes there's social tension the way only 7th grade can be social tense,  quite a few bits that made me chuckle, and many more that made me grin, some mayhem, and a very affectionate skunk....and the outcome is just what the instigator of the whole shebang would have wanted (or will be wanting, and will be inspired to set in motion....).  

It's a quick and entertaining read, and it might inspire a few of the target audience to introspection about what they might change about themselves (one character, for instance, decides to embrace her inner nerd, another starts working on being less self-centered, etc.; the sort of things that are useful nudges for many 7th graders.).    If you are looking for an oddball, funny sci-book with middle grade angst (and a skunk), this is a good pick! 

(Oddball and quirky is not own personal favorite sort of sci fi, and I don't like being made to think of all the things I'd like future me to have nudged me to change, but despite that I enjoyed it quite a bit!)


  1. How interesting it would be for kids that age to see what they become in a few years. What a perfectly interesting story. I will definitely be looking for this one. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. This was a little like Goldman's The Night Room, but it also had SKUNKS, which stalk me. I can do quirky fantasy from time to time.


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