A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Big Nate Blasts Off is a strong finish for Lincoln Peirce's hugely popular comic series about an artistically talented but socially clumsy sixth-grader. As always, there's plenty of grade-school taunting and juvenile humor directed at teachers and classmates. But this time around, Nate comes to appreciate the difference between hurtful ridicule and good-natured fun. He also wrestles with some upheaval at home, including a possible move, and discovers his longtime enemy Randy is struggling with difficult family problems of his own. There's some light, age-appropriate flirting and even a kiss.
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What's the story?
In BIG NATE BLASTS OFF, Nate has a crush on Ruby, a new girl in school -- but so does bully Randy, who seems bent on humiliating Nate and winning Ruby's affection. Meanwhile, Nate's worried about the upcoming Mud Bowl ultimate Frisbee game against rival Jefferson High, and he lands in hot water over his comics in the school paper. As if that's not enough, Nate is worried his family might move away so his dad can take a new job. Getting forced to go through peer counseling with Randy under smug Gina's supervision seems unbearable -- but it might just lead to a breakthrough.
Is it any good?
Lincoln Peirce says this will be his final book featuring cartoonist Nate Wright -- but what a terrific finish it is for fans of the wise-cracking 11-year-old with a knack for getting into trouble. By the end of Big Nate Blasts Off, it's clear Nate is ready to move on: He's wiser now and more mature. Not only does Nate take tentative steps toward a hoped-for romance using lessons learned from a long, unrequited infatuation, but he also makes peace with his longtime enemy and learns to use more discretion with his satirical cartoons.
Good-byes are never easy, but fans will be happy to see Nate confident, happy, and as cheeky as ever. Author Lincoln Peirce promises this won't be the end for Nate, however: Fans will be able to read new Big Nate comic strips online.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about empathy in Big Nate Blasts Off. How does Nate's insight into Randy's home life change how he views Randy's behavior? Have you ever softened your view of someone you didn’t like after learning more about them?
What's the difference between harmlessly sharing information and gossiping?
Have you ever accidentally blabbed a secret or had one of your secrets revealed?
- Author: Lincoln Peirce
- Illustrator: Lincoln Peirce
- Genre: Graphic Novel
- Topics: Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray
- Publication date: February 16, 2016
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 224
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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