Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova

How I Heard About It:  I went back to my classroom in early August.  There was a box from a Scholastic Book Order that I had put in before I left for the summer.  One of the books was Awkward.  Before putting in the graphic novel section of our class library, I brought it home to give it a quick read.  

What It Is About:  Peppi is starting a new school.  She is going to try to follow the middle-school "rules" by not getting noticed by bullies and hanging out with similar students.  After getting noticed by the bullies on her first day, she knows she isn't off to a great start.  She trips and falls into a male student named Jamie.  To cover up her embarrassment and "name-calling", Peppi pushes that boy.  She can't believe what she has done, but the action has been done.  Peppa is an artist so she decides to join the art club.  The boy she pushed, Jamie, is a scientist, so he joins the science job.  The kids at school learn that only ONE club will be attending a future school event.  This leads to a  "mini-war" between the clubs each vying for the coveted club position.  Some tactics are "legal" and some are quite the opposite.  Peppi first wants to make things right with Jamie and she also wants her club to win.  She questions herself at what lengths she will go to make her goals a reality.  

What I Thought Of It:  What an enjoyable read.  I've found myself enjoying graphic novels more and more.  It is fascinating to me that some educators don't want students reading graphic novels because they think they are too easy.  I actually think the opposite is true.  I find myself reading slower, rereading, and spending more time on the graphics and text.  The plot is perfect for young readers and they will be able to relate to the story while enjoying it at the same time.  Now that I've read this one, I want to order book number two in the series.  

Who Should Read It:  This is going to be a new graphic novel on the shelves of my classroom library.  I think fourth, fifth, and sixth graders would really love the story of Peppi and Jamie.  Of course our middle-school readers will also want to follow their adventures navigating the halls of middle-school.  Such great lessons presented in the story that all readers will gain something from reading this.  Happy reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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