Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he's managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he's in middle school, avoiding reading isn't as easy as it used to be.Read more...
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More About Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald; J. P. CoovertOverview
Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he's managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he's in middle school, avoiding reading isn't as easy as it used to be. And when his friend Timmy McGibney decides that he's tired of covering for him, Charlie Joe finds himself resorting to desperate measures to keep his perfect record intact.
"Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading" by Tommy Greenwald is the hilarious story of an avid non-reader and the extreme lengths to which he'll go to get out of reading a book.
- ISBN-13: 9781596436916
- ISBN-10: 1596436913
- Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
- Publish Date: July 2011
- Page Count: 224
- Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Series: Charlie Joe Jackson
Related CategoriesPublishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-05-30
- Reviewer: Staff
Greenwald pulls off a clever bit of reverse psychology in his debut, first in a series starring a cheeky middle grader who goes to great lengths to avoid reading—and whose humor and rapid-fire delivery should draw in like-minded kids. From the start, Charlie Joe schmoozes playfully with readers, promising short chapters and shorter words ("One syllable. Or less"). Kids who, upon entering the school library, may have been asked (as Charlie Joe is), "did you take a wrong turn somewhere?" will find an enthusiastic advocate in the boy. Throughout, he provides "tips" that dedicated nonreaders will enjoy ("If you have to read a book, make sure it has short chapters"). The novel chronicles Charlie Joe's machinations to avoid reading, which involve getting his classmates to do so for him; using this tactic for a research paper about school cliques yields revelations about clique mentality, but lands Charlie Joe in more trouble. Doth Charlie Joe protest too much? Maybe, but Greenwald wisely eschews an end-of-story reformation for his comic antihero, ensuring that readers will be treated to more of his entertaining circumlocutions in future books. Ages 9–12. (July)BookPage Reviews
The joys of not reading
Charlie Joe Jackson doesn’t like to read. He never has. In fact, he is proud of his record of never having completely read any book assigned to him. He does, however, believe in getting good grades, and he shares how to do this along with many other tips in Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading, a delightful choice for reluctant readers.
Charlie Joe tells us that he is writing this book to help other “non-readers” like himself—and we believe he is doing it out of the kindness of his heart—but in truth, there is a wonderful twist to the ending that reveals why he is really writing this book. His long-term scheme for avoiding reading any book in its entirety has fallen apart, and he is forced (he believes) into coming up with another plan. Those of us who love to read will wonder why he doesn’t simply read the assigned book, since it would take less effort than his elaborate tactics for not reading, but Charlie Joe has a reputation to maintain and he will not let it go. Along the way he learns about friendships and the value of honesty—and honest work—and we learn to love his irascible self.
Tommy Greenwald’s writing style is breezy and accessible without being too easy. It is also extremely funny and hard to put down. If the book’s cover showed something blowing up, every reluctant boy reader in middle school would be proud to carry it around while secretly enjoying the nonviolent, straightforward story. Bookworms won’t care; they’ll love it either way.