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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Big Nate, written and illustrated by Lincoln Pierce. Harper, 2010. $13,99 ages 9 and up

"There were twenty-two other kids in the classroom, and they all had their hands in the air. Francis did. Teddy did. Gina did, of course. Even Nick Blonsky, who usually sits in the back row with his pencil up his nose, had his hand raised. She could have called on one of them, right?
Guess who she calls on?"

Here is another one of those books, like the Wimpy Kid, destined to find new fans and to get lots of buzz when teachers, librarians and parents are trying to find a new series for their adolescent readers...let's hope this is the first of many.

Nate is a guy who is determined that greatness is his...if you know him from his comic strip, you will know that the greatness will come with trouble attached. Written in first person narrative, with a very authentic and funny voice, Big Nate will have fans emulating his sarcastic and hopeful persona. As with so many other boys his age, Nate is a bit goofy and inept. He manages to alienate every single one of his teachers in one laugh out loud funny incident after another, while holding to the belief that 'today's gonna be a good day' and that he is meant to do great things.

Those moments will keep readers turning the pages, looking for the next colorful event. The pace is quick and will leave kids begging for more. His is a funny commnentary on the daily drudgery that is middle school for many of our students and Nate will be the character who voices their shared opinions, leaving them free to live vicariously through him. His words and pictures make him a candidate to take over for his creator, Lincoln Pierce.

Coincidentally, Lincoln Pierce began drawing comic strips when he was in sixth grade. His humor shines through and proves he knows middle graders. This book will have universal appeal...for boys and girls, avid readers or reluctant. Be sure to check out the Big Nate website...there is much fun to be had there, too.

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