A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Nate is having a pretty bad day, but he never loses his self-confidence or his sense of humor.
Positive Role Models
Nate's best friends stick with him through it all, and although Nate thinks his dad is clueless, he clearly respects him and cares about him. One of Nate's hobbies is cartooning, and the adults in ths book, mostly teachers, are pretty much all caricutures.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
The girl that Nate has had a crush on since first grade has been "going out" with another boy for four months; they hold hands in the halls. Another couple is seen kissing in the hallway.
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Some mild name calling: "butthead," "dork," and "geek."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this humorous book is based on the comic strip Big Nate. Illustrated in the same cartoon style as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid, it is a little milder and sweeter than that series. Although the characters are sixth-graders, the humor will appeal to younger readers and especially to boys. Nate faces challenges universal to 12-year-old boys: a test at school, the desire to be liked by his peers, and dealing with simple plans that go awry. The humor mostly comes at the expense of Nate himself, particularly when he is trying to impress someone and fails. Nate lives in a single parent household with no mention of his mother.
Is It Any Good?
The cartoon style will entertain any reader who enjoys comic books, and the slapstick humor will appeal to many boys. The core of the story is the friendship between Nate and his best friends Teddy and Francis, and the way they help each other survive the perils of middle school. Nate is a very high-energy kid with overflowing self-esteem and his ability to maintain his sense of humor may encourage kids who find the trials of adolescence something they'd like to keep laughing about for a while longer. Unrequited crushes, grouchy teachers, and feeling misunderstood is tough even for kids who still want books with a few booger jokes.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.