Summer’s finally here, and Derek Fallon is looking forward to pelting the UPS truck with water balloons, climbing onto the garage roof, and conducting silly investigations. But when his parents decide to send him to Learning Camp, Derek’s dreams of fun come to an end. Ever since he’s been labeled a “reluctant reader,” his mom has pushed him to read “real” books-something other than his beloved Calvin & Hobbes.
As Derek forges unexpected friendships and uncovers a family secret involving himself (in diapers! no less), he realizes that adventures and surprises are around the corner, complete with curve balls.
My Life as a Book is a 2011 Bank Street – Best Children’s Book of the Year.
There’s a new kid in Derek Fallon’s class. His name is Umberto and he uses a wheelchair.
Derek’s family is still fostering Frank the monkey, and Derek thinks it would be great to train Frank to assist Umberto. But Derek quickly realizes that Umberto is definitely not looking for any help.
Derek soon becomes the butt of Umberto’s jokes. On top of that, Umberto starts stealing Derek’s cartoon ideas and claiming them as his own. How did Derek get himself into this mess, and how can he find a way out before he is the laughingstock of school?
The answer may very well be his cartoon strip–SUPER FRANK!
My Life as a Cartoonist features illustrations by Janet Tashjian’s son, Jake Tashian.
Derek Fallon discovers all the angst that comes with being twelve–he just wants to feel grown up, but life gets in the way with a series of mishaps that make him look like a baby.
He passes out during a worm dissection in science class, falls flat on his face in gym class and gets a fat lip that causes him to lisp all day, and his plans for a monster-truck party turn into a bouncy house disaster.
Why isn’t being in middle school as great as Derek imagined?
Thankfully, with a little help from his friends–and, ironically, a Toys for Tots fundraiser–things seem like they could start shaping up at last.
My Life as a Joke by Janet and Jake Tashjian is a Christy Ottaviano Book