Big Nate Lives It Up: Big Nate, Book 7

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
Big Nate Lives It Up: Big Nate, Book 7 Book Poster Image
Nate at his best, showing empathy for geeky new kid.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Child fascinated by flora spouts facts; brief introduction to folk art.

Positive Messages

"Everybody's a nerd about something," Nate realizes, including himself. Other people should be treated with compassion and consideration even if you don't like especially like them, and friendship can be forged in unlikely circumstances.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nate's held accountable by the principal and his friends for being selfish and narrow-minded, and he makes a sincere effort to be nicer. Nate's principal holds him responsible for being a good friend to the new student and gently but firmly keeps him on course. Dee Dee, noticing something's amiss, pushes Nate to work through with his issues with Breckenridge.

Violence & Scariness

Falling ceiling tile strikes student on head but doesn't cause serious injury. Preschool bullying incidents are recounted. 

Language

A child is described as a "giant turd in the wading pool of life."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Big Nate Lives It Up, the seventh book in Lincoln Peirce's popular chapter-book series, has Nate working hard to practice empathy and kindness. Nate can be rather abrasive in this comics-based series, but in this volume he digs deep to try to be considerate of a new student he doesn't particularly like and learns to appreciate his quirky classmate. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 11, 13, 16, and 18+ year old Written bycome to pa pa August 6, 2015
Kid, 10 years old August 25, 2018

Not as much humor, but more positive messages in 7th Big Nate installment

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my friends who practically the entire last school year were telling me how amazing Big Nate was. I finally listened to you. M... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 12, 2018

Nate lives it up!

"Nate at his best" is right. CSM finally gave a Big Nate book four stars. Of course, this is better than the last book. Some parents won't like h... Continue reading

What's the story?

Nate is flattered and excited to be the buddy for a new student at PS 38. After all, that's how he and his best friend Teddy met when Teddy was new. But Breckenridge Puffington III turns out to be "dweeby" -- and he's stuck to Nate like glue. Nate doesn't like him much but dutifully tries to shield him from the school bully, and, when he's chided by the principal for excluding Breckenridge from a game, he makes a genuine effort to be more considerate. Meanwhile, the school is preparing for its 100th birthday celebration, and Nate is tickled to find comic strips in a 100-year-old journal by a student. He and his friends are looking forward to the centennial scavenger hunt -- until Nate makes a terrible realization about Breckenridge.

Is it any good?

This entertaining story shows Nate at his best: actively supported by friends and adults, engaged in something intellectually absorbing, and trying hard to do the right thing in tough circumstances. This time around he's saddled with the new kid no one wants to befriend. Nate grudgingly sacrifices his own interests to help his classmate feel welcome and struggles mightily to get over a deeply upsetting discovery about Breckenridge's past. Confronted with behavior he doesn't like, Nate takes a long, hard look in the mirror and realizes he's the one who needs to change. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Nate's realization that "everybody's a nerd about something." What do you feel nerdy about, and does it make you feel lonely or part of a group of like-minded kids?

  • How does Nate benefit and grow from being empathetic toward Breckenridge?

  • Do some research at the library or online to learn more about old comic strips and how they compare with modern styles.

Book details

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