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 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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.
- Author: Lincoln Peirce
- Illustrator: Lincoln Peirce
- Genre: Friendship
- Topics: Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray
- Publication date: March 10, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 224
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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