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Middle school may be tough, but Charlie Burger has a plan for how he'll get through it: mind his own business and stay out of the limelight. But sixth grade has other plans for Charlie. His best friend, Franki, starts acting weird - since when does she like to dance? - and everyone from his mom to his soccer coach is on his case all the time. Worst of all? The school bully, Boomer Bodbreath, seems to think Charlie has a bull's-eye on his back.
When Charlie's eccentric science teacher hands out writing journals instead of beakers and goggles, Charlie is convinced his year can't be saved. That is, until he starts writing stories about Dude Explodius, an awesome, studly superhero - and those stories start coming true. Can a kid who's used to the sidelines suddenly take a shot at saving the world?