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“A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.”
Summary: Life would be so much better if Artur weren't in it. It's bad enough that "Mr. Lucky" never gets detention ... but now he's joining Nate's Timber Scout troop. There is no way Nate is going to let Artur sell more wall hangings, raise the most money for upgrading the troop's camping gear, and (most of all) win a new skateboard. He has a plan - a romantic plan! Artur + Gina = Nate rides a new set of wheels. What could be better than getting your two worst enemies out of the way of your goal? This is the third book in this illustrated chapter series. It is a high interest / low readability book.
Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book, illustrated chapter, transitional reader, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 13; read yourself: 9 and Up
Interest Level: 9 to 12
Reading Level: 2.9
Age of Child: Read by a 10-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter loves Nate more than she does Wimpy Kid. She laughs her way through every book, and usually reads it cover to cover in one sitting. She talked about the skunk (cartoon) for days!
Adult Reader Reaction: With Nate, you're never sure what is going to happen next. I'm amazed that my daughter sits to read the whole book, because despite the cartoon insets, there is a lot of text on the page. It is unfortunate that Artur is such a caricature of an ESL student. Early in the book Nate describes Artur's broken English as "charming" (as written in the book). The comment - and dialogue in the book - are insensitive and overdone.
Pros: Preteens will love - and laugh out loud - this illustrated "diary" of Big Nate's life. Dormant, struggling, and avid readers will find something to love in this cartoon-ish story.
Cons: Humor at the expense of another person's culture is not something we need (more of) in children's books. Although the book reads at a second grade level, this is for older children.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a series kids will go through fast, but aren't likely to come back to often.
Educational Themes: This is a high interest / low readability title. The dialogue with Arturo offer an opportunity to talk about sensitivity, friendship, and acceptance. Other topics - competition, peer pressure, making the right choices, being a (scouting) role model.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.