Reviews for Big Nate: in a Class by Himself

Booklist Reviews 2010 March #1
Unabashedly capitalizing on the Wimpy Kid wave (with a Jeff Kinney blurb-recommendation splashed across the cover), Peirce's book, for a slightly younger audience, uses a mix of prose and cartoons to tell a quick story about a day in the life of an extroverted, impish kid. Peirce does have comics cred on his side: his hero, Nate, has been the star of a long-running daily comic strip. He is the classic clever kid who hates school and whose antics land him in ever-hotter water with grumbly teachers. On this particular day, he wakes up feeling fine, sweats a bit about an upcoming test, then opens a fortune cookie at school that reads, "Today you will surpass all others." So, he dutifully goes about trying to best other kids at everything but seems to only have a knack for racking up detention slips. The cartoons provide plenty of gags at the expense of various adults and classmates, and Nate's persistent good cheer and moxie make him a likable new proxy for young misfits. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
Sixth grader Big Nate (from the syndicated cartoon strip) is convinced that he's destined for greatness--but he seems destined for trouble. Nate's voice, at once sarcastic and optimistic, captures this goofy, awkward time. There's so much to like here--illustrations or cartoon panels on every page, fast-paced trouble for our hero, and laugh-out-loud commentary on the day-to-day monotony of school. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2010 #4
Sixth grader Big Nate is convinced that he is destined for greatness. Even the fortune in his cookie points to it: "Today you will surpass all others." But how will he do it? Will he be the first person ever to make the grumpy science teacher laugh? Write the love poem that will get the attention of the elusive Jenny? Or set a world record for eating slimy green beans? Well, if you know Nate from his syndicated cartoon strip, you will know that the only greatness Nate is destined for is getting into trouble with adults. Setting the story in school, with just a mention of Nate's perfect older sister Ellen, Peirce gets the tone of this first-person narrative just right. Nate's voice, sarcastic and optimistic at the same time, captures this goofy, awkward time. Many laugh-out-loud moments, including Nate's list of nicknames for Mrs. Godfrey, will keep the pages turning. There is so much to like here-illustrations or cartoon panels on every page, fast-paced trouble for our hero, and hilarious commentary on the day-to-day monotony of school. The millions of Wimpy Kid fans will be thrilled to find another cartoon buddy to read about and will not be disappointed with this good-hearted king of detention. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 March #1
Sixth grader Nate Wright doesn't excel in much at P.S.38. He's not as smart as his best friend Francis nor as lamely funny as his other best friend Teddy, and he's certainly not (unfortunately) successful at everything, like his annoying older sister Ellen. So when Teddy slips Nate a fortune cookie and the fortune reads "Today you will surpass all others," Nate is stoked. Just how will he surpass all others? Every time he tries anything--like making grumpy Mr. Gavin laugh or breaking the speed-eating world record by snarfing down a mountain of slimy green beans--he ends up getting detention. This really seems more like a candidate for Worst Day Ever! Peirce skillfully and often hilariously imports his comic-strip character into a full-length story. The many comic strips, some drawn by Nate on lined paper and others featuring him as a character, and copious spot illustrations move the story along to a conclusion some may see coming but all will enjoy. Perfect for fans of Jeff Kinney's Wimpy Kid. Thank goodness sequels are planned. Final art not seen. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 7-11) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 April #2

Star of a long-running comic strip, sixth-grader Nate Wright makes the leap to a cartoon-laden chapter book in the smart alecky vein of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Nate (who's "not exactly Joe Honor Roll") dissects the horrors of middle school, from vindictive teachers to the popular girls' lunch table, aka Fort Knox ("You can try to get in, but you have no chance"). The wisp of a plot revolves around a fortune cookie that predicts, "Today you will surpass all others," launching Nate into actions that indeed cause him to surpass all others with seven detentions. (His ill-conceived plans include speed-eating 148 servings of cafeteria green beans.) The book's appeal lies in Nate's wickedly astute observations and the savvy integration of cartoons with text. Angry teachers' speech bubbles drip with icicles, and sidebars house humorous asides: "When a teacher completely snaps and starts screaming, it's called a Full Godfrey. (When Mrs. Godfrey does it, it's called Monday)." Though Nate may not achieve the fame he seeks with his classmates, this sharp-witted and unflappable protagonist just might find it with readers. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 April

Gr 4-6--Nate is a sixth grader who has a problem with organization. Everything is going wrong, and he's piling up detention after detention. Things start to improve when he gets a fortune cookie with a message stating that he will "surpass all others," giving him a purpose for the day and leading to humorous incidents such as when he tries to beat a speed record for eating green beans, and when he tickles his science teacher with a feather duster. This fully developed protagonist debuted in a comic strip; this is Peirce's first book about him, and it is a successful, laugh-out-loud venture. Readers meet a variety of characters, each with a unique personality or trait. Peirce's black-and-white ink illustrations, whether they are comics Nate has drawn or other funny images, help to develop the story. Big Nate will fill in gaps in collections that are looking for books for reluctant readers, and for Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams) read-alikes.--Lora Van Marel, Orland Park Public Library, IL

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