Nothing Man and the Purple Zero


ISBN 9781770863118 | 5.375″ x 8″ | TPB | $14.95 | Age: 13+ | 240 pp
ISBN 9781770863125 | EBOOK | $9.99

Category: Novels
Curriculum: Character EducationBullying, Diversity, Friendship, Respect | Language ArtsHumour



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Marty Apostrophes and Bill Brown are from opposite sides of the tracks, but their friendship allows them to overcome bullies and scrape through classes (with Bill doing the lion’s share of the scraping). Bill’s obsession with the classic cars owned by Marty’s family leads to a joyride in a 1937 Cord 812 Sportsman, and the accidental foiling of a robbery … which is caught on video by their friend, aspiring teen reporter Elizabeth Murphy.

The video goes viral, and Marty and Bill – or at least, their accidental alter egos, Nothing Man and the Purple Zero – become instant celebrities.

Is this a fleeting moment of celebrity? Or are the trio living up to a destiny foretold by a dying principal who reminded them that “Some have greatness thrust upon them”?

Nothing Man and the Purple Zero, award-winning author Richard Scarsbrook brings us more hilarious adventures from Faireville District High School.

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A Resource Links Year’s Best of 2013


“Scarsbrook does not shy away from difficult topics such as drugs, bullying and sexuality. His use of flashback is a very effective technique to move the plot forward … Readers will be fascinated with the frequent amusing references to history and popular culture such as Star Trek, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Andy Griffith Show. Teenage readers will definitely enjoy this amusing novel which pokes fun at high school life while revealing what is really important in life!” Rated E for Excellent
Resource Links

“The omniscient present point-of-view allows the narration to dip into the heads of all the characters, providing insight and gently comparing their different mindsets … The interwoven web of characters drives the plot as much as the plot itself does, as is evident from the epilogue which details each character’s life after high school and thus brings this book to a close with the suggestions that, though greatness is thrust upon some, everyone is capable of it.”
Canadian Children’s Book News


On the other side of the swarm, Marty Apostrophes hasn’t even noticed the edits to the video footage; he was in such a state of panic during the whole incident that he doesn’t really remember much of anything. The video of their adventurous evening is clearer than Marty’s memory of it is.

And I look pretty damned amazing in this next sequence, Marty thinks: the Purple Zero leaps from the hood of the superhero car, knocks the pistol out of the robber’s hand, and then dives and springs back up again with a fighting stick in his hands; at least that’s what it looks like, and Marty already prefers what it looks like to what may have really happened (which is that he may have accidentally slipped from the hood of the car, accidentally fallen on Devin Orff, and then accidentally broken off an old piece of handrail when he accidentally fell down a second time).

“Whoa!” Dale Bunion cries out. “Did you see that? He disarmed that robber before the guy could even fire his gun!”

“That guy must have Special Ops training,” says Marcia Montrose, whose father is indeed a member of a Special Operations Unit.

“He’s probably got karate training, and probably tae kwon do, too,” says Kitty McMann, who has studied both martial arts (hence her easy takedown of Bobby Bingham when he tried to force his hands under her tank top).

“He’s an ace stick fighter, too,” says Zig Zag Rogers, who has no martial arts training, nor any inclination to fight with anyone for any reason, but who has watched a lot of old Bruce Lee kung fu movies while stoned late at night. “I’ll bet this Purple Zero dude is also an ace with a set of nunchuks.”

“I’ll bet he is, too,” Marty agrees.

“Shhhhhhh!” hisses Lance Goodfellow. “This next part is awesome.”

Onscreen, a resonant voice thunders, “Stop that now!” and then Nothing Man seems to materialize out of nowhere.

“Holy crap!” Rick Rousseau yelps. “How the hell did he do that? He just reappeared out of nothing! He is Nothing Man!”

Bill sighs. For gawd’s sake, Rick. All I did was step into the light.

Teacher’s Guide


About the Author

Scarsbrook, Richard - has been published widely in literary journals, magazines, and anthologies, and has won a number of prizes and awards. His third young adult novel, The Monkeyface Chronicles, won the White Pine Award. (read more)

Books by the Author

Nothing Man and the Purple Zero - Richard Scarsbrook
ISBN 9781770863118 | 5.375" x 8" | TPB | $14.95 | Age: 13+

A Resource Links Year's Best of 2013

When Bill and Marty go on a joyride in disguise, they accidentally foil a robbery and are caught on video. The video goes viral, and Marty and Bill – or at least, their accidental alter egos, Nothing Man and the Purple Zero – become instant celebrities. (read more)

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