Is there a reluctant middle school reader in your family? Tommy Greenwald's Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading might be the perfect book to give that kid who needs to read a book for school, something over 150 pages, but hates to read.
Charlie Joe Jackson has a reason to hate books. His father once ruined his birthday by presenting him with all kinds of books, including the entire works of Mark Twain. It was enough to traumatize him for life, and turn him off of reading. But, Charlie Joe has made an art of not reading. His schemes to avoid it in school are just wonderful. Up until this year, he's been able to bribe a friend with ice cream sandwiches to read the books for him, and summarize them. But, now, that friend wants more than just one ice cream sandwich. Charlie Joe's schemes involve getting girls to go out with his friends, and bribing the girls. Anything to avoid reading! He even encourages a friend to date the one girl Charlie Joe has always admired. And, for a few moments, it appears that Charlie Joe might just succeed. But, the kid who never reads doesn't expect a plot twist.
Adults will find Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading to be charming. He writes his books for other non-readers, promising short chapters and lots of lists. Who can resist his tips? Tip #21 - "There are things you need to make sure you know when telling someone you did read a book, when you actually didn't read the book." Number one is "The title." And, of course, there's Tip #12. "The library can be your friend."
Greenwald's book is fun. Even that reluctant reader might want to try Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading.
Tommy Greenwald's website is www.tommygreenwald.com
Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald. Roaring Brook Press. ©2011. ISBN 9781596436916 (hardcover), 220p.
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