Popular Clone” by M.E. Castle $15.99. For ages 8-12.

It’s easy to feel sorry for Fisher Bas. He’s 12 and small for his age. And he’s a geeky science genius (not that there’s anything wrong with being a geeky science genius except that in Fisher’s case, it also means that he’s not the most popular kid in middle school).

Fisher gets picked on just about every day by overgrown bullies, whom he calls the Vikings. But he isn’t the son of Nobel Prize-winning scientists for no reason. So Fisher comes up with a perfect solution to his problem. He clones (a scientific word for copies) himself, but his clone is cool, fun and popular. Fisher sends his clone (nicknamed Two) to school, while he stays home, plays video games, eats junk food and works on his inventions.

And if that plan worked out perfectly, well, there wouldn’t be much of a book, would there?

Fisher and Two’s adventures both in school and out may seem outrageous but some of the situations (like trying to explain bad behavior that isn’t really your fault to your parents) may wind up seeming pretty familiar.

Author M.E. Castle has said that he hopes this is the first of many books. That’s probably likely given that with Fisher and Two, there are twice as many chances for ad­ven­ture.