by Lincoln Peirce
Balzer + Bray (Feb. 16, 2016)
Nate has a crush on Ruby. But after his scrap with Randy Betancourt makes headlines in the Weekly Bugle, he's got a problem WAY worse than detention! Can Nate bounce back? And will the annual Mud Bowl be a blast . . . or a bust?
Why You'll Love It:
- It's an entertaining addition to the popular Big Nate series and a sure-fire circulator.
- Quick pacing, frequent jokes, and an appealing graphic-novel format make this a crowd pleaser. The plentiful illustrations include several comics penned by Nate. His believable middle-school perspective covers topics such as his dream job (Cheez Doodles taste consultant), and the horrors of running into Principal Nichols (in “casual” clothes) on the weekend.
- Lincoln Pierce is adept at including humor without diminishing serious situations. For instance, when Nate is worrying in school that bully Randy has it in for him, Nate’s art teacher is pictured scratching his head over Nate’s latest painting—an angry-looking portrait of Randy.
- Randy, who has appeared in other Big Nate books, is further developed here. While Randy’s bullying behavior hasn’t earned him any friends, Nate’s insensitive treatment of him in a published comic may have readers feeling sympathetic. As the story progresses, Nate’s growing compassion toward Randy is heartwarming.
Who Should Read It:
Great for 3rd-6th grades.
What Else You Should Read:
- The 39 Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths (and others in the series)
- The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett
- Dinosaur Boy by Cory Putman Oakes