Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2015. 978-1449464899
Synopsis: Eleven-year-old Nate Wright is no one-hit wonder. He’s the king of Monopoly, the Michelangelo of P.S. 38, and a Cheez Doodle poet extraordinaire. He’s a sixth-grade superstar—at least, that’s what he tells everyone—and he’s going all the way to Number One. Whether he’s having an imaginary near-death experience, creating another hilarious episode of “Doctor Cesspool,” or meeting the girl of his dreams at summer school, Nate’s always at the top of the charts. – from Amazon.com
Why I picked it up: I’d been hearing good things about this comic and I wanted to check it out for myself.
Why I finished it: This book has a little bit of everything for everybody – action, comedy, romance, unparalleled insight into the mind of a genius…okay, maybe the last one is a little bit of a stretch, but it’s hard not to admire Nate’s sarcasm, wit, and confidence. Everything he does – well, most everything he does – has his particular stamp, which has the reader laughing from page one. I’m sure we all had parents that were a little bit weird, those teachers we didn’t like, the teachers we tried to suck up to, the crushes on a special someone, the annoying sibling, and of course, the best friends. The characters are charismatic and the reader is drawn into their middle school world. Peirce’s illustrations are very much akin to the classics like Calvin and Hobbes and Peanuts in their styling: simple lines and basic shapes varied here and there by the occasional change in hair style or clothing. The book collects three e-book only collections that by themselves are brilliant in their insight into the mind of a sixth grade boy and his friends, but together make for good times and lots of laughs. The comic may be centered around a middle schooler, but these strips have something for all ages.
Other related materials: Big Nate books by Lincoln Peirce; I Funny: A Middle School Story by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, illustrated by Laura Park; House of Robots by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, illustrated by Juliana Neufeld; Timmy Failure books by Stephan Pastis; Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney; Origami Yoda books by Tom Angleberger; Diary of a Sixth Grade Ninja books by Marcus Emerson, illustrations by Noah Child; Secret Agent Sixth Grader books by Marcus Emerson, illustrations by Noah Child; The Genius Files books by Dan Gutman; Dragonbreath books by Ursula Vernon