Charlie Joe Jackson is back! Fans of Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading will not be surprised to learn that his new adventure is titled Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Extra Credit. Being the slacker that he is, Charlie Joe has waited almost too late to earn good grades. If he doesn’t get his failing grades in order, his parents will send him to an intensively boring summer camp where reading is the main activity.
Mind you, it’s not that Charlie Joe can’t do the work, he just doesn’t have the ambition to do it. He likes goofing around more than buckling down, and this attitude has landed him in trouble again. As in the previous book, Charlie Joe adds “tips” between the chapters on how to succeed—usually by listing the things he should have done himself, but didn’t. These tips are hilarious and right on the money: “Remember that Science is not recess” and “If a teacher is giving you extra credit, do not injure them in any way.”
Tommy Greenwald’s first book was a big hit with the middle grades, especially reluctant readers. The continuation of Charlie Joe’s story is sure to draw the same crowd, but it’s refreshingly funny for anyone. Mild crushes and “who’s dating who” discussions make the book most appropriate for junior high students, but fourth graders and up should enjoy Charlie Joe and his entertaining efforts to stave off academic disaster.Copyright 2012 BookPage Reviews.
Gr 4-7--The boy introduced in Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading (Roaring Brook, 2011) is back, and with the summer looming and his grades far from par, Camp Rituhbukkee (Reading Camp!) seems inevitable. Charlie Joe makes a seemingly impossible deal with his parents-if he brings his grades up to all A's and one B (science is a hopeless cause for him), he can avoid the dreaded camp. Deal in place, he begs each of his teachers for extra-credit projects. The drama teacher tells him that he needs to audition for the school play, Paper Tiger: The Life and Legend of Arthur Scott, which is based on the life of the man who invented paper towels, and his art teacher uses Charlie Joe as a painting model dressed as a boy foxhunter in 19th-century England. As in the first book, Charlie Joe intersperses tips for readers throughout, such as, "If you're doing extra credit for a teacher, you have to like them. (Or at least pretend to like them.)" His likable friends try to help him achieve the nearly impossible, and along the way he begins to realize that completing the actual schoolwork in the first place would have been much easier than trying to catch up with studying and doing extra credit. Small comical illustrations complement the breezy writing style. Sure to appeal to reluctant readers who will identify with Charlie Joe's knack for avoiding reading and schoolwork, this title would also make a fabulous read-aloud. Luckily for fans of Charlie Joe, another installment in this unlikely hero's life is forthcoming.Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA[Page 106]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.