All bookseller links are provided so you can get more information about a book. We have affiliate relationships with Barefoot Books,, and Tapestry Books. All revenue generated from sales through these venues is used strictly to cover website costs and minimize donation requests and fundraising campaigns.

By age 17, only about 1 in 17 seventeen year olds can read and gain information from specialized text, for example the... More

      Printer Friendly

Click cover to buy:

NIAGARA FALLS, OR DOES IT? (Hank Zipzer Series #1)

Author: Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

Illustrator: Jesse Joshua Watson

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Penguin Books for Young Readers, 2003

Summary: Hank is a fourth grader. He has a learning disability. On the first day of school, his teacher asks him to do something very difficult: write an essay about what he did over the summer. One of Hank's other teachers recognized that he has an extraordinary talent of portraying characters and acting out scenes. With that confidence, Hank decides to create a "living essay" of the family's trip to Niagara Falls. Except that things go wrong. So much for a flawless performance and following his dream. How is he going to dig himself out? The Hank Zipzer series is an illustrated chapter book for transitional readers.

Type of Reading: read aloud book, independent reading, reluctant reader, transitional reader, illustrated chapter

Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself: 9 and Up

Interest Level: 7 to 12

Reading Level: 4.3

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: This is a very funny book. It would be great book for second graders and up. I love the friendships, too. The story reminds me of how teachers can have a positive impact on their students. My hope is that kids will have a greater appreciation for kids with learning disabilities and that parents will become aware of their child's needs and struggles. Just because a kid has a learning disability doesn't mean that they are lazy and not intelligent. I can't wait to read more books from these authors.

Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Pros: Lots of humor and events kids can relate to combine in a great series for young readers. Everyone can learn something from the book and be inspired by Hank.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. These are fun books and quick reads. If you're young reader gets hooked, they may want to have these around so that they can catch up with their friend Hank.

If You Liked This Book, Try: The Case of Hermie the Missine Hamster by James Preller; Secret Identity (Shredderman #1) by Wendelin Van Draanan HELP! SOMEBODY GET ME OUT OF FOURTH GRADE! (Hank Zipzer Series)   THE SCIENCE FAIR FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (Black Lagoon Adventures, No. 4)   BAD KITTY GETS A BATH

Educational Themes: There are opportunities to learn empathy in this series. Teen reviewer: "It explains basic facts about learning disabilities. Understanding them will enable you to help someone you know to be a well-informed and effective advocate."

Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She borrowed the book from their local library.

Literary Categories: Fiction - humor, school, growing up, boys, middle grade series

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2013

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


Copyright © 2003 - 2018. The Reading Tub, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Reading Tub and Turning a Page ... Opening the World are registered trademarks of The Reading Tub Inc.
No use of these trademarks is permitted without written approval of The Reading Tub, Inc.
Privacy Policy.     Site developed by Sites2BeSeen.