Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Extra Credit

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Extra Credit

4.8 21
by Tommy Greenwald, J. P. Coovert
     
 

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Charlie Joe Jackson, the most reluctant reader ever born, made it his mission in the first book to get through middle school without reading a single book from cover to cover. Now he's back, and trying desperately to get straight A's in order to avoid going to academic camp for the summer. In order to do this, he will have to betray his friend, lose the girl of his

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Overview

Charlie Joe Jackson, the most reluctant reader ever born, made it his mission in the first book to get through middle school without reading a single book from cover to cover. Now he's back, and trying desperately to get straight A's in order to avoid going to academic camp for the summer. In order to do this, he will have to betray his friend, lose the girl of his dreams, and end up acting in a school play about the inventor of paper towels. Charlie Joe's not exactly the "school play kind of guy", but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
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
From the Publisher
    “No middle schooler wants to face a month at summer enrichment camp, but many will enjoy watching Charlie Joe work harder than he has ever worked before to avoid it…even if he fails.”—Kirkus

“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.” – School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Justina Engebretson
Many people try to earn extra credit in life. They try to earn extra credit with their boss at work by coming in extra early or buying the boss his or hers favorite Starbucks. Some try to earn extra credit at home with their parents by doing extra chores or babysitting their younger siblings. Then there are the teacher's pets, the students that just cannot get enough of school. The title of this middle reader may mislead some, but do not be deceived, Charlie Joe is not one of those people that like to earn extra credit...well unless showing up to class on time can earn him some extra credit. When it comes to school, though, Charlie Joe likes to avoid even regular credit like the plague. All through his early years of school, he seemed to manage getting by with as little effort as possible. Now he is in middle school and things are getting a little tricky. His latest report card drives his parents to desperate measures and now Charlie Joe needs to learn how to earn some extra credit. So what could drive a guy like Charlie Joe to earn extra credit? The threat of spending his long anticipated summer at camp is enough. Middle school students will love this humorous read along with Charlie's free advice concerning extra credit. Reviewer: Justina Engebretson
Kirkus Reviews
Charlie Joe Jackson learns that "being a perfect student is just really, really hard." Charlie Joe's parents mean business: He must earn all A's (he negotiates for one B) in his last quarter of school or he's headed to Camp Rituhbukee for summer school. Charlie Joe has spent so much time avoiding schoolwork and causing problems that he now has to spend any free time earning extra credit. Luckily, he has great friends who are willing to help him learn to be a student. He still needs help, so he asks his art, drama and PE teachers for some extra credit. While it's clear no one thinks Charlie Joe has what it takes, these three teachers come up with inventive ways to assist. In art, he poses for the art students (and meets future girlfriend Zoe). In drama, he uses his schmoozing abilities to land the lead role in the school musical. And in PE, he joins student government. But things do not always turn out as planned. Snappy, sarcastic middle-school humor lifts this overlong book, and the spot drawings and occasional very short pithy paragraphs are a pleasant surprise. No middle schooler wants to face a month at summer enrichment camp, but many will enjoy watching Charlie Joe work harder than he has ever worked before to avoid it…even if he fails. (Fiction. 8-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429955430
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
08/07/2012
Series:
Charlie Joe Jackson Series , #2
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
224,798
Lexile:
630L (what's this?)
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

TOMMY GREENWALD is extra excited about the next chapter in the Charlie Joe Jackson series! His favorite meal is extra crispy fried chicken and ice cream with extra hot fudge sauce. Tommy lives in Connecticut with his extraordinary wife Cathy; his extra-special kids Charlie, Joe and Jack; and his extremely cute dogs, Moose and Coco. His favorite television show is Extra.
Tommy Greenwald has enjoyed reading all his life, which is why he's appalled that his kids Charlie, Joe and Jack, would prefer getting a dental check-up to checking out a book. After years of pleading, threatening, and bribing, Tommy finally decided the only way to get his kids to read was to write a book about how to get out of reading. The result was Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading. And they read it! (So they say.) The Executive Creative Director at SPOTCO, an entertainment advertising agency in New York City, Tommy lives in Connecticut with his wife, Cathy; his non-reading sons, Charlie, Joe and Jack; and his dogs, Moose and Coco.
J. P. Coovert is the illustrator of the Charlie Joe Jackson books by Tommy Greenwald.

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Read an Excerpt

1
 
Let’s go back to the beginning: Report Card Day.

2
You probably already know that books and me don’t get along.
And I’m not exactly what you’d call the most studious kid in the world.
In elementary school, that didn’t really matter. I’d make my teachers laugh, and I’d participate in class, and I’d do just enough to get pretty good grades.
But everything changed in middle school. All of a sudden, the teachers expected me to actually read all the books and to pay close attention in class.
School turned out to be a lot more like school than it used to be.
Which is how Report Card Days became my least favorite days of the year.
“So what’s the plan?” said my buddy, the ridiculously brilliant and unnecessarily hard-working Jake Katz. We were sitting at lunch. He asked me that every Report Card Day, as if I had some grand scheme to leave school in the middle of the day, go to my parents’ computer, print out my report card (then delete the e-mail), find the nearest report-card-forgery expert and have him change all my C pluses to A minuses.
“I don’t have a plan,” I answered. Jake looked disappointed. I was pretty famous for my plans.
“My grades are definitely up this quarter,” chimed in Timmy McGibney, my oldest and most annoying friend.
“That’s super,” I said, “but I don’t want to talk about report cards right now.”
I felt nervous, and I wasn’t used to feeling nervous. I could usually get myself out of pretty much any bad situation, but going home to a lousy report card was kind of like going to a scary movie with your friends even though you hate scary movies. There was no way out.
I took a big swig of chocolate milk and immediately felt better. Chocolate milk is like that.
“Let’s talk about something happy,” I suggested, “like the fact that this is the last quarter of the year. Summer is right around the corner.” Summer was my favorite time of year, by far. No school. No books. No report cards. There was absolutely nothing wrong with summer.
Then Hannah Spivero came up to our table and put her arm around Jake Katz, and I immediately felt worse again. Hannah Spivero is like that.
(Hannah, for those of you who have been living under a rock, happens to be the girl of my dreams. Only now, those dreams are nightmares, ever since she shocked the entire nation by deciding to like Jake Katz.)
Right behind Hannah was Eliza Collins and her adoring gang of followers, who I like to call the Elizettes. Eliza is the prettiest girl in school and has had a crush on me since third grade. The combination of those two things didn’t make sense to anyone, especially me.
“Did I just hear someone mention summer?” Eliza asked. “What perfect timing! The girls and I have decided to form a Summer Planning Committee.” Then she looked right at me. “It’s coming up fast, and we need to make sure we have the best summer ever!”
Everyone cheered.
Eliza was used to people cheering in her presence, so she ignored it.
“The first meeting of the committee is this Saturday at my house, and you’re all invited,” she added.
Another cheer.
Hannah looked at Jake. “We have plans to go to the mall this Saturday.”
I’ll go to the mall with you, I thought.
“Maybe we can go to the mall on Sunday,” Jake said. “The Summer Planning Committee sounds fun.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. Passing up alone time with Hannah Spivero went against everything I stood for as a person. “Okay, sure,” Hannah said, but I could tell she was a little disappointed.
“What’s wrong, Charlie Joe?” Eliza asked cheerfully. Since she liked me and I didn’t like her back, seeing me unhappy always made her happy.
“Charlie Joe is feeling nervous about his report card,” Timmy announced. He was another kid who enjoyed my misery.
“I am not.”
Hannah put her hand on my shoulder, probably figuring she could help me forget my troubles and make me feel all warm inside from just the tiniest bit of physical contact. (She was right, but that’s beside the point.)
“Oh, Charlie Joe, I’m not worried. You’ll probably figure out a way to convince everyone that C’s are the new A’s. I’m sure your parents will be taking you to Disneyland by the time you get through with them.”
Everyone laughed—it was a perfectly okay joke—but for some reason Timmy decided it was unbelievably hilarious, and instead of laughing he snorted apple juice through his nose and all over my fish sticks.
Great. Not only was I going to be nervous the rest of the day, I’d be starving, as well.
Timmy looked at the soggy fish sticks.
“Are you going to eat those?” he asked.
He’d eaten three of them before I could answer.

Charlie Joe’s Tip #2
YOU CAN’T GO THROUGH LIFE THINKING YOU’LL GET EXTRA CREDIT JUST FOR DOING NORMAL STUFF.
There’s extra credit … and then there’s just regular credit. Getting regular credit for something just means you’ve avoided getting in trouble. If you want to actually get rewarded, you have to do more than what’s expected. That’s where the extra part of extra credit comes from.
Here are some things that I used to think would give me extra credit but didn’t:
  1. Wearing matching socks
  2. Turning in homework
  3. Not swearing
  4. Brushing my teeth
  5. Eating salad

 
Text copyright © 2012 by Tommy Greenwald
Illustrations copyright © 2012 Roaring Brook Press

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