Review Blog

Mar 20 2013

Big Nate flips out by Lincoln Peirce

cover image

Big Nate series no. 5. HarperCollins, 2013. ISBN13: 9780061996641. 216 p.
Recommended for readers from 8-11 years of age. Themes: Middle School, Friendship, Cartooning. This is the fifth Big Nate novel written and illustrated by cartoonist Lincoln Peirce. Big Nate has been a syndicated newspaper cartoon since 1991. His work inspired Jeff Kinney to write and illustrate The Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
Big Nate and his best friend Frances are once again finding middle school life difficult. Nate's problems stem from his untidiness; his locker, schoolwork, homework, clothes and his bedroom are always messy. Francis however is a neatnik; Nate calls him Captain Tidypants. He's an only child and a trivia buff. They have been best friends since kindergarten.
This time problems escalate when the boys decide to be on the school yearbook committee. Their aim is to make it better than last year's because the photos were truly awful. There is a lot of fun and drama as they take the school camera to capture candid shots of classmates and teachers. An unfortunate event occurs with the camera and this leads to Nate visiting Teddy's Uncle Pedro for help because he's an inventor, magician and hypnotist. The change in Nate is truly amazing!
This a book filled with American school life humour, friendships, class stereotypes, overbearing teachers and bullies. The cartoons seamlessly work with the text and add humour to the story.
This story would appeal to those students who enjoy The Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. Reluctant readers would enjoy these stories as they can find much of the text written in the cartoons.
A sneak peek of the next Big Nate novel, Big Nate: In the Zone! Is included as well.
This series is supported by the Big Nate website  where readers can find Lincoln Peirce's blog, books, games, videos and downloads.
Rhyllis Bignell

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