Jamie’s always got something going on. This time she has a letter her math teacher sent home. Let’s just say the letter is not inviting her to be on the math bowl team. Jamie would like her math teacher to just give up:
Mr. Henzy, my math teacher, still seems interested in teaching me math in spite of a great deal of evidence that it can’t be done. It’s kind of cute in a way, like watching a baby try to reach something just outside his crib. A big, mean, boring baby. (page 5)
Instead, Jamie’s parents come down hard. She has to improve her math grade by the end of the next quarter, “or else.” That doesn’t sound good. Luckily Jamie’s got her friend Isabella to help her figure out what to do…Isabella helps by insisting that Jamie do her homework…and by punching Jamie in the arm when she gets something wrong. That’s just the kind of friend Isabella is. When a quiz reveals that Jamie’s grasp of math is NOT improving, Isabella is NOT happy, and when Isabella’s not happy, NOBODY’S happy. Expecially Jamie, who better do what Isabella says…or else! Author: Jim Benton
Sassy Amelia is back in another book that clearly shows Mr. Gownley remembers EXACTLY what it’s like to be in Middle School and figure out that really, “fair” just doesn’t exist. Amelia’s visiting the principal a little too often again…language, tardiness, mumbling under her breath, constantly testing the boundaries, etc.
Amelia finally asks her teacher, “Mr. Henderson? Can I ask you something? Why on earth would anyone want to be a teacher? I mean seriously…if I had to go to school every day for the rest of my life…I’d go catch a bus with my face.” (page 63)
That Amelia, she holds nothing back! The one thing that IS good about school though, is Amelia’s friends: Reggie, Rhonda, Pajamaman, & Joan…even her new friends on the cheerleading squad. Amelia gets an idea of the meaning of life and what’s important, everyday with her friends. I’d love to go to school with them.
Favorite line? When Rhonda confronts the mean girl who denies ever doing anything mean, “You’re a nightmare! If I were a Jedi, I’d have force choked you a year ago.” (page 118) Whoa!, that Rhonda, she doesn’t hold back either, no wonder she and Amelia are such good friends! Author: Jimmy Gownley
Nate ends up in detention again but it isn’t his fault, it’s Artur’s fault. Nate loses his skateboard but it isn’t his fault, it’s Artur’s fault. Nate’s still in love with Jenny but she doesn’t love him back…and IT’S ARTUR’S FAULT.
When Artur misunderstand’s Nate and leads Nate’s archnemesis Gina to believe Nate loves HER…well, that is definitely Artur’s fault and Nate has had it up to HERE with Artur! Artur “Mr. Perfect.” Artur “Mr. Always has the answer the teacher wants.” Artur “Mr. the Guy who is dating Jenny”…which is just WRONG.
When the Timber Scouts announce a new fundraising effort with the top prize being a new customized skateboard, Nate is determined to beat Artur and win that skateboard. Since Nate thinks the wall hangings he’s supposed to sell are lame, he decides to make as much money as he can doing what he wants and then use THAT money to buy enough wall hangings to beat Artur. As Spongebob would say, “Patrick, your genius is showing!” As usual, Nate’s genius gets him into all kinds of trouble! Author: Lincoln Peirce
I knew that Big Nate actually started as a comic strip but I had never read it. Big Nate Out Loud is a compilation of several Big Nate comic strips – he is just as funny one strip at a time. Nate even tries to change school to make it more interesting: ”
Mr. Gavin, this worksheet on photosynthesis really isn’t working for me….We want to stop studying photosynthesis and start studying something GOOD!” (pages 57-58)
When that doesn’t work he tries to get Mr. Gavin to laugh. He cracks jokes, even science jokes, but nothing works until one of Nate’s classmates says,
“Mr. Gavin, Nate thinks he has a good chance to make the honor roll this term. What do YOU think?” (page 62)
That works! Apparently Nate is not exactly honor roll material! He’s too busy trying to impress Jenny to concentrate on his school work. He also likes complaining and pranks and asking a lot of questions to keep the teacher off topic. If you think about it you’ve probably got someone in your class like Nate already…or maybe that someone is YOU!
Amelia and her friends really do rule. Even though these are comic books the characters are not unrealistic but they sure are funny. I laughed outloud reading Amelia and The Gym Class System. It tells the story of Amelia’s first day at her new school.
SO THERE I AM, SURROUNDED BY WEIRDOS AND ALREADY SENT TO THE PRINCIPAL! I DIDN’T THINK THINGS COULD GET WORSE. THEN WE HAD GYM CLASS. (page 13)
Things DO get worse…Amelia goes to the principal’s office so many times he says, “I don’t believe I see my wife this often!” Author: Jimmy Gownley