Sunday, October 2, 2011
Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald
This may surprise you, but I sometimes have trouble connecting with books that I’m reading. Occasionally I will invoke the one-hundred page rule. If a book doesn’t grab me by page one-hundred, I will often let it go. I hate making such a decision because I often will miss out on an exciting ending.
The one-hundred page rule brings me to a book I heard about this past summer called Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading. Never mind page one-hundred, for this book I almost stopped at the title! Why would I want to read a book with a title like this? I wasn't sure if I even should share this book with you, but let's see why I got past page one-hundred...
Our unlikely protagonist is Charlie Joe Jackson. He proudly states he will stop at nothing to get out of reading. He even gives us twenty-five tips on how to cope with, or avoid, the reading trap. For example:
“Charlie Joe’s Tip #1: IF YOU HAVE TO READ A BOOK, MAKE SURE IT HAS SHORT CHAPTERS.”
For Charlie Joe, reading is the enemy and he seems to have quite a following. Here are a few kids that would agree; maybe you'll recognize someone you know: [Show YouTube) Why does Charlie Joe hate reading so much? Part of the answer involves a strange convergence involving his dad, Mark Twain, Roald Dahl, and Matt Christopher.
“Charlie Joe’s Tip #15: MAKE SURE YOU’VE READ AT LEAST ONE BOOK TO COMPLETION.”
So far in his life, Charlie Joe has only read one book all the way through. He recommends all of us to read at least one book in case anyone ever asks us what our favorite book is. Charlie Joe’s one book is the Giving Tree, which is interesting because in this story the tree is doing all the giving and the boy is doing all the taking. Surprisingly, it’s the one book Charlie Joe hasn’t asked his friend Timmy to read for him. Timmy and Charlie Joe have what you might call “an arrangement.” Charlie Joe goes to the ala carte line and gives Timmy an ice cream sandwich. Timmy reads for Charlie the books he refuses to read.
“Charlie Joe’s Tip #4: IF YOU WANT GIRLS TO LIKE YOU, DON’T READ.”
Charlie Joe Jackson will stop at nothing to get out of reading, even if it means losing the love of his life, Hannah Spivero. So what if his most recent plan to not read involved arranging a date between Hannah and a friend of his named Jake Katz. So what if they started to like each other. How long could it last? What was the average life span of a middle school romance anyway? Nine days? Nothing to worry about. Right?
But, there will be plenty for Charlie Joe Jackson to worry about if his parents, the principal and his favorite teacher Ms. Fellman discover the latest plan he’s hatched to not read. It involves Hannah, Jake and the final school project.
If you liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid, if you liked Origami Yoda or Darth Paper Strikes Back, then you will want to take a look at Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading. Even high schoolers who don't like to read will read this book all the way through.
BC Booktalk on Prezi
Posted by Mr. S @ BC at 12:29 PM