Big Nate: Thunka, Thunka, Thunka by Lincoln Peirce
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2016. 978-1449462277
Synopsis: Sixth grade can be a tension convention for Nate Wright. His baseball team’s just been given the lamest name in Little League history; he’s on the verge of becoming know-it-all Gina’s personal servant for a day; and Spitsy, the closest thing he has to a dog of his own, is in love with a CAT. Yup, Nate’s up to his ears in stress. Luckily, the perfect remedy is close at hand: an empty plastic soda bottle. All Nate has to do is drum it gently against his head — thunka, thunka, thunka — and the pressures of dealing with Coach John, Mrs. Godfrey, and the terrifying Kim Cressly begin to fade away. Who knew an empty bottle could be so therapeutic? – from Amazon.com
Why I picked it up: What’s not to love?
Why I finished it: This is some seriously funny stuff. The pressures of middle school can be overwhelming sometimes, and this collection really hits on some of the everyday things that can make life seem overwhelming: pop quizzes, trying to deal with a girl who likes you when you don’t like her, trying to get the attention of the girl you like, parents, siblings, friends, classmates…. Sometimes it just seems like the world is out to get you. Lucky for Nate, he’s got the magical power of sheer determination, nerves of steel, and a plastic bottle to beat against his dad’s head. It’s what’s helping him deal with his baseball team being re-named the Cream Puffs and being nice to Mrs. Godfrey for a whole week so that he won’t get detention, not to mention the fact that the school secretary stole his idea to write a fight song for the school. Peirce gets another ‘A+’ for his work, mixing fantasy with reality and a unique brand of humor to get readers hooked for life. So sit back, relax, and relieve a little stress of your own while you follow Nate through his latest series of antics. It’s a book that will have you cheering for more.
Other related materials: Big Nate: I Can’t Take It! by Lincoln Peirce; Big Nate’s Greatest Hits by Lincoln Peirce; Big Nate: Welcome to My World by Lincoln Peirce; Big Nate: Say Goodbye to Dork City by Lincoln Peirce; Big Nate: The Crowd Goes Wild! by Lincoln Peirce; Big Nate and Friends by Lincoln Peirce; Big Nate: Game On! by Lincoln Peirce; Big Nate Makes the Grade by Lincoln Peirce; Big Nate: Great Minds Think Alike by Lincoln Peirce; Big Nate Out Loud by Lincoln Peirce; Big Nate: Revenge of the Cream Puffs by Lincoln Peirce; My Weirdest School books by Dan Gutman, illustrated by Jim Paillot; Timmy Failure books by Stephan Pastis; Middle School books by James Patterson and Chris Tebbits, illustrated by Laura Park; Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney