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 Strikes Again is very funny and will strike a chord with kids, but it centers on a nasty feud between Nate and Gina that doesn't get resolved in any meaningful way. Nate and Gina constantly snipe at each, and neither gives the other due credit for accomplishments. Their angry interactions ring true, particularly for kids in middle grades, but parents might be disappointed by the lack of problem solving. Nate's not a standout student: He doesn't enjoy his classes and has little respect for teachers. But he does have a supportive group of friends.
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What's the story?
For Nate, the assignment of a special report on Benjamin Franklin goes from bad to worse when he's paired with the insufferable, high-achieving Gina. Gina worries Nate is going to drag down her high grade-point average. Nate, however, is afraid Gina is going to ruin his fleeceball team's chances of winning the coveted SPOFF (Sports Played Only For Fun) trophy. The adversaries make a pact: Nate will let Gina write the report, and Gina will sit out the rest of the games. But events don't go exactly as they expect.
Is it any good?
Great artwork and a relatable story elevate BIG NATE STRIKES AGAIN, the second book in the popular series. Nate is an underdog who feels the world is against him, and his high hopes are repeatedly dashed by Gina and adults. Nate gets a rare chance to turn his creative talent into academic success, but Gina still regards him as a slacker. Also, Gina gets her comeuppance but no credit from Nate for her work on their project or her performance on the fleeceball team.
As with the other books in the series, Nate's comics are a highlight. This one features a particularly clever take on Poor Richard's Almanack and a cameo by Benjamin Franklin in the end pages.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Nate's appeal. He complains a lot and has a lot of disagreements, so why is he still so likable?
Why do you think books featuring comics-style artwork and underdog boys are so popular?
Would you have liked to have seen better resolution of Nate's problems with Gina and Randy, or do you think the way things turn out is realistic?
- Author: Lincoln Peirce
- Illustrator: Lincoln Peirce
- Genre: Humor
- Topics: Arts and Dance, Friendship, History, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
- Publication date: October 19, 2010
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 224
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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