Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Justin Case: School, Drool, And Other Daily Disasters

Justin Case: School, Drool, And Other Daily Disasters. Rachel Vail. 2010. Feiwel & Friends. 256 pages.

September 1, Tuesday
Okay, yes. I'm worried.
I can't help it.

I loved Justin Case. I did. True, his name isn't really Justin Case. It's Justin Krzeszewski. But Justin Case is his nickname. (He's not all that fond of it--at least not at first.) Justin is an anxious third-grader who tends to make lists in his journal.

Many things make Justin anxious--or worried--change being one of them. And third grade is all about change. He's put in the "wrong" third grade class. He's separated from his friends. And one of those friends, Daisy, has realized that boys and girls shouldn't be best friends. So she's dropped him completely. So Justin has a "scary" teacher and no friends. And that's just the start...

What I loved best about Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters was the writing.

From October 7:
I figured out why it is called cursive: because of the bad words you think when you can't draw the dumb letters right. How many bumps can one M possibly have? (37)

From May 18:
If I had to choose which is worst of:

a) climbing a rope up higher than a gym teacher's bald head
b) practicing my squeaky violin
c) hanging upside down by my knees so my shirt falls up
d) getting driven somewhere by Gingy, the slowest driver on the planet
e) walking my drooly dog every day because my parents went away

I would have to choose

f) All of the above

Welcome to my life as a third grader. (206)
There were so many moments where Justin Case made me smile. (Reading about Justin's trouble with his stuffed animals!) I also loved the book for its relationships. How Justin relates to his family--his mom, his dad, his younger sister, Elizabeth, and especially his relationship with his grandparents Poopsie and Gingy. These family scenes were some of my favorites. I also loved to see Justin making new friends in third grade! I loved getting to know others in his class--like Montana C and Gianni Schicci.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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