Big Nate Lives It Up (Big Nate, Book 7) by Lincoln Peirce
|Big Nate Lives It Up (Big Nate, Book 7) by Lincoln Peirce|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: Seeing this well-loved, punky young upstart we can only love due his life's foibles start to break the UK is explained with books of this quality.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: June 2015|
|Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Life at school might actually be interesting for Big Nate, for once. Even if the building is so old it's falling down, an ancient student's journal much like his has been discovered, peppered with a girl's cartoons from a long, long time ago – proving even he can have a connection with something a century old. (And I don't mean the connection made when bits of the place actually fall onto his head.) Unfortunately for Nate, another connection has been forced on him – he has had to buddy up with the new boy in class. He's new, dorky, and has a name that sounds like a British boarding school, we're told. But what exactly is it about Breckenridge Puffington III that gives Nate a strong sense of déjà vu…?
You'll like as not get déjà vu when I moan again about not being able to follow the publishing history of Big Nate. At least this volume doesn't fit into the reprinted and renamed oldies selection, but I assumed it was in the daily cartoon collection category. No, wrong again – this is one of the Wimpy Kid-type novels. And it's a very good one. I'd like to state 'wow, for the nth book in this series it's got a lot going for it', but I have no idea from the book itself what n is, so I won't. I'll just describe what it has going for it.
I do enjoy the cartoons – a sustained spread of daily yucks on one theme, and a larger, often colour one, to close the week out with. But even these novels have a lot of imagery about them. Each page probably averages two visual beats, so dialogue is either presented regularly or portrayed as happening in cartoon form. Nate breaks out into other comics he's designed, as well as those others found from a century back, too. It's a really good form – the person reading their first books on their own would never suffer with word count, and the style used to design everything and everyone is spot on, meaning instant access to this world.
So with his cartoonist head on strong shoulders, Lincoln Peirce fills the book with dynamic situations, a good sense of humour, and a clever plot, neatly encapsulating the elements we recognise from school (the newbie, the grot) with his moral and several other factors. This means this example can avoid other franchises' one-trick books, where we look at just one thing until we reach the end. Here there's clearly been more thought about tying things together – seemingly disparate things pieced together with some decent level of intelligence. And while the end result might look like something that is anathema to the older, more fuddy-duddy school librarian, the result should not be dismissed as some dim-witted picture book.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
Super-Loud Sam by Jo Simmons took me back to school in a fantastic, fantasy manner.
You can read more book reviews or buy Big Nate Lives It Up (Big Nate, Book 7) by Lincoln Peirce at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Big Nate Lives It Up (Big Nate, Book 7) by Lincoln Peirce at Amazon.com.
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