Friday, July 9, 2010

Big Nate: In a Class By Himself

Big Nate: In a Class by HimselfTitle: Big Nate: In a Class by Himself    
Author: Lincoln Pierce  
Illustrator: Lincoln Pierce 
Publication Date: 2010  
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction - Humorous/Novel with Cartoons  Summary: This book is about Nate, a funny, smart-alecky student who tells about a day at school after he gets a fortune cookie that tells him he is going to surpass all others.  He believes he is destined for greatness...when he might just be destined for detention!   
What I Think: I was reminded of Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney when reading this book because there is narration and pictures/cartoons/drawings to go along with the storyline.  Honestly, I enjoyed this book more than Diary of a Wimpy Kid but I laughed out loud reading both of them.  Big Nate takes place entirely at school and I think kids would definitely relate to what he goes through.  The descriptions of some of the teachers were great - I bookmarked the chapter about the substitute P.E. teacher for my husband to read.  I was cracking up.  The illustrations do add to the overall reading of the book.  I'm so glad to have this one on my bookshelf when school starts again.  I already can think of who I would recommend it to.  
     In the snatch of text I provided alone, kids can already infer what some of the characters are like...and they can predict what is going to happen after she calls on him (because, clearly, he doesn't know the answer!).  I can't see how kids wouldn't crack up at Nate's school-day antics! 
Read Together: 5 - 8  (really perfect for 5th/6th grade, but a reluctant older reader might also get a kick out of it - it would be an easy read for an older super reader)
Read Alone: 5 - 8   
Read With: My Weird School #1: Miss Daisy Is Crazy! by Dan Gutman (series); Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (series)   
Snatch of Text: "She could have called on anybody.
     There were twenty-to 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?
     Mrs. Godfrey always does this.  She always calls on me when I don't know the answer.  And she can tell I don't know it.  Ever hear somebody say that dogs can smell fear?  That's Mrs. Godfrey.  She's like a dog.
     A big, ugly, nasty dog."  p. 1-2
Reading Strategies to Practice: Making Connections, Making Predictions, Making Inferences  
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative, Characterization, Format Writing   
Writing Prompts: Write about your best or worst school experience.  Write about your first day of school (could be kindergarten, 1st grade, this year!).  Write about your favorite or least favorite teacher and draw a picture to represent him or her.       
Topics Covered: School, Friendship, Teachers, Responsibility, Individuality 
Translated to Spanish: No

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