Are you familiar with Nate Wright? Although I've read reviews of other Big Nate graphic novels by Lincoln Peirce, Big Nate Game On! is the the first one I've read and it's a perfect choice for Children's Book Week.
The first thing I learned about Nate is that he definitely doesn't have a self-esteem problem. He's convinced he's the best at whatever he does. Now far it be it for me to discourage such a positive attitude, but, um, Nate doesn't exactly live up to his self-made reputation. Fortunately, his friends put up with him and he has just enough luck to see him through. His long-suffering coach is a little less tolerant, but coaching sixth-graders is no walk in the park.
The collection of comics in Big Nate Game On! lets us tag along as Nate makes a name for himself (not necessarily in a good way) in athletics. Each of the three sports he plays brings out a different aspect of his personality. On the BB court, Nate practices trash talking more than he does his dribble. During the summer, he tries to come up with a cooler baseball team name than the Chez Lindas, named after their beauty parlor sponsor. And when playing soccer, he has to overcome a bit of jealousy while convincing himself that he's the star of the team.
Nate, his friends, his coach, his cranky gym teacher, and even cats all add to the fun of this laugh-out-loud look at middle grade sports. You and your kids will get a kick out of Nate's antics. Take a look at the scan (click to enlarge it) to get an idea of just how much trouble Nate can get into.
Although you can certainly read Big Nate Game On! purely for fun, teachers and parents will find plenty to talk about, such as friendship, sportsmanship, coaching, jealousy, and playing fair. Although it might sound odd to suggest a collection of comics for a book club, I think this book would be perfect. Boys, especially, will laugh over Nate's efforts to outwit the coach, outplay the bigger boys, and outrun cats (he's scared of them!). Whether they read the book on their own or with others, young readers will love Big Nate Game On!
Here is a short video of Lincoln Peirce explaining how he comes up with ideas for Big Nate and demonstrating how he draws the gym teacher.
Buy Big Nate Game On! at an Indie or other bookstore near you.
Andrews McMeel, 2013
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).