Title: “The Computer Nut”Author: Betsy ByarsSetting: “The Computer Nut” takes place in Kate’s small town. Overall, the different settings are in her house, in school, at a carwash, at Willie Lomax’s house, her dad’s office, a pep rally at her school’s football rally, and that’s basically where all the action takes place. Most of the time, the action takes place during the day.
Towards the ending, however, most of the action takes place at night around 8 pm- 9pm.Major Characters: The main character of “The Computer Nut” is Kate. Kate is like any other kid. She is obsessed with computers, she has red hair, and she is an average middle school student. She is receiving messages from an “alien” who calls himself BB-9. Willie Lomax is the boy who helps find out who is sending Kate messages over the computer. Willie is also Kate’s crush and he is the only one who is truly willing to help Kate find out who really is sending her messages over the computer.
He is around Kate’s height, chubby, he has reddish/blondish hair, and is very interested in Kate’s mystery “alien.” BB-9 is the self-proclaimed “alien comedian” who wants to come down to Earth to make people laugh, since Earth is the only planet in the universe where people laugh. He is an adult’s age and can take form as anything he wants. He was once a cow on another mission to Earth. A physical description is not available. And lastly, Linda is Kate’s best friend.
She is short, has brown hair, and very humorous.Plot Summary: One day, for an art project, Kate is just drawing a picture of herself on her dad’s computer in her dad’s office. After she is all done with her self-portrait, she receives a message from a strange person who later reveals himself as BB-9.
BB-9 is an alien in search of a good laugh on Earth, which he says is the only planet where people laugh. After a series of message, Kate hopes the person contacting her is her secret crush, Willie Lomax, who just so happens to know about computers. Kate is determined to find out who it is. When Kate’s best friend, Linda, finds out about the messages, she goes on and on and insists about how it HAS to be Frank Wilkins, a boy who told Kate he loved her at band camp a couple years back. Well, Linda talks Kate into having a “test” to see if Frank Wilkins is the one. The test is simple, but, according to Linda, will prove if it is Frank Wilkins sending her those weird, not-so-funny messages over the computer she is always on.
After the “test,” and a very humiliating event at the school cafeteria, Kate and Linda are convinced it isn’t Frank. Kate keeps receiving messages from the alien comedian and just has to find out who the person sending her messages is. After a pizza incident at the cafeteria with Frank Wilkins, Kate’s best friend comes up with another plan to find out who it is. Linda thinks it is Willie Lomax, and Kate hopes it is him, because he is her secret crush.
The plan to find out if it is Willie Lomax sending her messages is to go a school car wash and have him wash Kate’s dog and “accidentally” spill flea dip on him. If Willie looks at her in a funny way, Linda will know if it is him. But, after a big mess at the car wash, Kate and Linda know it is isn’t Willie. Kate is disappointed, because she was hoping it was Willie, her secret crush.
After two unsuccessful tries at finding out who BB-9 is, Kate is disappointed at the thought that no one is truly helping her find out who it is. Sure, her best friend is willing to help, but with sure-to-backfire plans that will just embarrass Kate. Kate apologizes to Willie for the flea dip incident and tells him her whole problem and how she hasn’t been herself lately.
Kate is happy to find out Willie is ready and willing to help. After about 3 days of communication with BB-9, Kate and Willie make plans to meet face to face with the alien comedian. Kate wants her family to go to where they are to meet so they could see the alien comedian. But, like always, everyone is too busy doing other things. Kate’s sister is too busy having a birthday party for her dog and inviting every dog in the neighborhood to come to the party. Her mom is too busy being a mom to go, and she insists that Kate should be careful when she meets him. Her dad is too busy doing repairs to go off to some burger joint to meet an alien.
So, after 3 failed tries, Kate decides no one is willing to go. So she and Willie go on without them. As they walk into the burger joint, they immediately spot him because of the weird, pink shirt he is wearing.
When they start a conversation, Kate and Willie are surprised.