Four Boys Named Jordan

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When four boys in one class all have the same name, taking attendance is a mess, asking for scissors is overwhelming, and don't even think about what can go wrong on the playground. Being in class with four Jordans is enough to drive anyone crazy!

And if you think getting a new girl might be safe, think again. . . .

Hilarious verse exposes the frustration of this widespread classroom dilemma, and vibrant, ...

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Overview

When four boys in one class all have the same name, taking attendance is a mess, asking for scissors is overwhelming, and don't even think about what can go wrong on the playground. Being in class with four Jordans is enough to drive anyone crazy!

And if you think getting a new girl might be safe, think again. . . .

Hilarious verse exposes the frustration of this widespread classroom dilemma, and vibrant, quirky illustrations make each Jordan-and the rest of the class-delightfully individual.

Four Jordans in one third-grade classroom cause chaos and confusion for teacher and students alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
What's in a name? A lot of confusion, according to one third grader who laments the fact that four boys in her class have the same moniker. Thus goes the rhyming story in Harper's (I Like Where I Am) latest children's song-turned-picture-book. When four boys simultaneously respond to the teacher's roll call, a classmate's greeting, or a request to pass the scissors during art, Elizabeth finds the situation exasperating. "Here a Jordan, there a Jordan,/ careful, you might miss one!/ Of all the classrooms here on Earth,/ why did they all pick this one?!" And when a new girl happens on the school scene-also with the name Jordan-Elizabeth comes close to pulling out her curly red hair. Though the text boasts some jaunty rhythms (befitting the tune from which it was adapted), the lines occasionally scan awkwardly on the page. An over-reliance on exclamation points to emphasize Elizabeth's bubbling-up feelings of aggravation also wears thin. (Peter Catalanotto addresses a similar name issue with a light, humorous touch in Matthew A.B.C.) King (Odd Velvet) goes to the head of the class with her mixed-media compositions, featuring an energetic spectrum of kids with exaggeratedly wide foreheads and small eyes, many of them brightly bespectacled. Her school-locker endpapers will have readers of a certain age hankering for a hall pass. Ages 4-up. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
King brings to life a new set of students with her illustrations—children who seem to represent every possible physical character trait. With the exception of their widely-set eyes, these students look remarkably like children I know. But even with the fabulous illustrations this title fell short of an exceptional read. Harper's attempt to transform lyrical rhyme into a literary piece was less than a success. Four boys named Jordan appear in Elizabeth's third grade class, sending her reeling in dismay. Elizabeth walks the reader through her already hectic day, demonstrating her confusion as she attempts to keep the individual boys straight in her mind, "Four boys named Jordan! Four Jordans in a row! How many Jordans are there on the planet, do you know?" And just when the reader questions yet another use of an exclamation point, in comes "Jordan!" Yes, another Jordan, but this time a girl. 2004, Putnam, Ages 4 to 8.
—Kori L. Mullins
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-With four boys named Jordan in Elizabeth's third-grade classroom, it's hard to keep things straight. Roll call is chaotic because the Jordans all answer at once, and recess isn't much better. Elizabeth can't say "Hi, Jordan" without being interrogated: "Which Jordan do you mean?/The tall one or the small one/or the one that's in-between?" As if things weren't confusing enough, a new girl arrives in class, and her name is (you guessed it) Jordan. The amusing illustrations are done in colored pencil, chalk, and collage. The characters have the same humorous expressions and walleyed faces found in King's artwork for Derek Munson's Enemy Pie (2000) and Mary E. Whitcomb's Odd Velvet (1998, both Chronicle). Sadly, however, Harper's story lacks a strong finish.-Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
What price faddish baby-naming? Readers of every generation will be nodding in recognition at this third-grader's rhymed plaint that there are not one, not two, not three, but four lads named Jordan in her class: "Say, 'Jordan pass the scissors,' and you'll end up with four pairs. / Say, 'Jordan, there's a test today.' Four voices say, 'Who cares?' " Emphasizing emotional tone over action, King creates colorful, canted school scenes dominated by wide, small-featured faces exhibiting a range of expressions. As a final zinger, the frizzy-haired narrator's fear of a "Jordan nation" takes a turn toward realization when a new child comes in: "Her name? You'll never guess." Required reading for prospective parents. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399237119
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 7/22/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jessica Harper is an award-winning songwriter. Tara Calahan King, is the illustrator of Odd Velvet and Enemy Pie.

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