Warp Speed by Lisa Yee will surely resonate with anyone who was ever a victim, bystander, bully, or "upstander." As a parent volunteer for Project Cornerstone, I found this title especially relevant to upper elementary and middle school kids.
Marley, as you can tell by the title, is a big fan of Star Trek. As any kid will tell you, being a fan of Star Trek, or Star Wars, or comic books, instantly places you in the outskirts of popularity at any school. Marley has saved up all his pennies to make the big annual Star Trek convention in Los Angeles, which is twenty minutes from where he lives. However, a Turkey Trot and Emily (from So Totally Emily Ebers) conspire to change all of his plans.
Marley is now fighting a battle he made by standing up for his friend, Ramen, who Marley says is "not his friend." He battles the Gorn by reaching "warp speed" every day after school, until the day he is caught. In a dress. Meanwhile, he must also kowtow to the immensely unlikeable Digger Ronster, who is another kind of bully. But, does the red-haired roadrunner, Digger, have his secrets, too? You betcha!
You will see some recurring characters from Yee's other Rancho Rosetta (otherwise known as South Pasadena) characters: Stanford Wong, Emily Ebers, and Millicent Min. Check out those titles (Millicent Min, Girl Genius, Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time, and So Totally Emily Ebers.) as well!