Parents' Guide to

Nickel Bay Nick

By Blair Jackson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Tween boy must salvage Christmas in fun, moving adventure.

Nickel Bay Nick Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 1 parent review

age 11+

Good book with a good message

The book may be about a troubled teen in the beginning but he learns a valuable lesson that he cannot continue in his ways. It has a good message for kids who may be acting out due to family issues. He changes his talent for getting into trouble into a talent for giving to people.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Nickel Bay Nick is an engaging, well-written, and sometimes funny book that has plenty of heart. Author Dean Pitchford (best known for Captain Nobody) effectively puts us inside the mind of fifth grader Sam, who narrates his adventures as a secret Santa, dispensing hundred dollar bills to strangers around the town of Nickel Bay at the behest of a mysterious neighbor. Sam's a complex kid -- physically fragile due to a heart transplant when he was 4; unhappy at home since his mother divorced his dad; strongly influenced by a criminally minded eighth grader who's always getting him into trouble; filled with self-loathing and lacking in self-confidence.

All of Sam's fears, insecurities, doubts, and anger come through in his narration, but so does his fundamental goodness and compassion. His adventures in clandestine philanthropy are exciting and at times nerve-wracking, as each mission to give away the money becomes progressively more difficult. The unpredictable ending's highly satisfying and surprisingly emotional. Kids will have no trouble relating to Sam's ups and downs.

Book Details

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