Big Nate on a Roll: Big Nate, Book 3

Common Sense Media says

Jealousy gets Nate into big trouble in third installment.





What parents need to know

Educational value

To earn the top prize, Nate needs to calculate how much money he has to earn, and he learns -- the hard way -- that there are costs to doing business. 


Positive messages

Work hard and stay focused to reach your goal. Meddling can backfire terribly. It's important to be a good sport.


Positive role models

Nate works hard to earn money, particularly with his efforts to sell his comic book. He sees a man putting merchandise in his bag and reports the apparent shoplifting to an employee. His friend at the comics store praises his book and tries to help him sell it. Nate's rival, Artur, is thoughtful and generous. He remains a good sport and sails through the story without drama. Nate's friends humor him but don't reinforce his narrow view of how the world works. Adults are not very sympathetic to Nate's perspective.

Violence & scariness

Nate runs into a woman and her dog while he's on his skateboard -- no one's hurt, but the skateboard sails off the bridge. He crashes into a tree while walking a headstrong dog and gets a black eye and is evaluated for a possible concussion.



There's no coarse language aside from some low-grade insults such as "pinhead" and "wussy."


Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Lincoln Peirce's Big Nate on a Roll is sure to entice reluctant readers with its funny blend of misadventures and comic-style art. Nate is a poor role model -- he's unreasonably competitive and doesn't take responsibility for his actions -- but young readers are far more likely to laugh at him than emulate him. Nate's hatred for Artur is rooted in jealousy, and the fact that Artur seems like a nice kid and is well-liked only reinforces Nate's view. Nate doesn't learn much from his trials and tribulations in this third book in the Big Nate series.

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Kids say

What's the story?

After losing his skateboard in an accident, sixth-grader Nate Wright is desperate to win the skateboard prize for selling the most Warm Fuzzies for the Timber Scouts. The only problem is lucky, perfect Artur, whom Nate blames for making him blow his attendance record at scouts and for hogging his would-be girlfriend. Nate sets out to best Artur and win the skateboard -- and hopefully the girl, too.

Is it any good?


BIG NATE ON A ROLL sees antihero Nate Wright motivated to work very hard toward his goal: to win the skateboard. But he's so focused, he's blinded to the potential cost of his actions. He always takes things just a little too far and doesn't know when to quit. His frustration is easy to understand, and kids will giggle as they see him blunder time and again. Although Nate doesn't learn much from the experience, readers will be wiser.

With its blend of middle school humor and comics, the Big Nate series is a great choice for reluctant readers, particularly boys. The inside covers invite readers to join in the comics-making fun -- perhaps inspiring more creative efforts after reading the book is done.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Nate's role in his misfortune. How much is Artur responsible for?


  • Why do you think the Big Nate series is so popular? Is it the humor, the drawings, the Nate character, the relatable situations?

  • Why do Nate's dad, his teachers, and other adults seem so hard on him?

Book details

Author:Lincoln Peirce
Illustrator:Lincoln Peirce
Topics:Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date:August 16, 2011
Number of pages:224
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12
Available on:Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle, Nook, Paperback

This review of Big Nate on a Roll: Big Nate, Book 3 was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byIsaac T January 2, 2015

The third big hit...with a few poor examples.

Nate is sometimes sarcastic and often jealous of a popular student named Artur. Yet he's also strong-willed and extremely determined to reach one goal: winning a customized skateboard. He also puts aside the chance to buy one himself to help his scout troop. Also a violent moment where Nate crashes into a tree and gets a black eye.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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