My Life as a Book Janet Tashjian
Derek is looking forward to this summer, even though he knows he's not going to have some huge adventure like they do in book and movies. But his summer takes a turn for the worse when his parents make him go to learning camp to help him with his reading. But, when he's not dodging his summer reading assignments, Derek likes exploring and playing with the animals at his mom's vet project. While in the attic, he finds an old newspaper that his mother doesn't want to talk about, which might just give him his grand adventure after all.
One thing Derek does to help with his reading is to draw cartoons of the words he doesn't recognize, and this margins of this book are filled with cartoons of some of the harder words, all drawn by Tashjian's 15-year-old son, Jake who regularly draws cartoons of his vocabulary words.
Overall, this is a fun story (I mean, there's a MONKEY. How can you not love a summer story that involves a MONKEY) but I could have done without the dead-babysitter-newspaper-article subplot. It quickly eclipses the rest of the plot and turns the book into a "I had a grand adventure that nicely wrapped up just in time for school" summer story, which Derek was very explicit in the beginning his summer wouldn't be. And yeah, cool, he got what he want. But most kids feel that way at the beginning of the summer and most of them don't get a grand adventure and there was enough going on in an otherwise funny book that this rather tragic storyline didn't necessarily gel in that well.
Book Provided by... my local library
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