How to Survive a Totally Boring Summer

How to Survive a Totally Boring Summer

by Alice de La Croix, Cynthia Fisher
     
 
It's Randall's first summer in a new town, and it's looking like the next few months are going to be pretty boring. But once he and some friends start a chess club, Randall begins to change his mind about his new home. That is until Birdman, a grumpy old man who hangs out in the park where the Checkmate Squad meets to play, tries to interfere and Gordo, the class

Overview

It's Randall's first summer in a new town, and it's looking like the next few months are going to be pretty boring. But once he and some friends start a chess club, Randall begins to change his mind about his new home. That is until Birdman, a grumpy old man who hangs out in the park where the Checkmate Squad meets to play, tries to interfere and Gordo, the class bully, threatens to ruin everything. How could Randall's summer have gone so quickly from drop dead dull to disastrous? Randall and his new friends return for more adventures in this companion book to The Hero of Third Grade.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Tina Dybvik
Genres cross in this fictional title masquerading as a "how to" manual. New kid on the block Randall plans to run a summer chess club for his classmates, but a third grade bully and curmudgeonly neighbor may threaten his vacation plans. An ongoing problem and solution format replaces a single main conflict, which adds to the nonfiction characteristics of the text. There is also a subplot involving a runaway bird that brings about part of the resolution. A shared devotion to chess conquers all differences and makes Randall a local celebrity in the end. Although there is no mention of the game in the title, every chapter is a chess term, and the book concludes with an introduction to how the individual pieces move across the board. Fisher's illustrations support the lesson and feature a multiracial friendship. Other themes include cross-generational activities, single parent families, and Polish cooking. A good read to create primary age interest in a traditional game of strategy. Reviewer: Tina Dybvik
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4
To keep summer boredom at bay, Randall and his friend Max decide to start a chess club. Subplots about a bully, a grouchy old man, and a missing bird augment this beginning chapter book. The story is one big example of positive thinking and community mindedness-to the point of seeming preachy. Randall's babysitter offers advice like, "the only ones who fail are the ones who never try." The club is a huge success and Randall makes the jump from including the bully and old man to creating a joint student and senior citizen organization. Fisher's illustrations are full and half page and include clever touches such as Randall's "I love chess" shirt. The book ends with the boy's guide to playing the game. Librarians may enjoy the nod to summer reading. (The first thing Randall and Max do for fun is sign up.) However, this book won't be enough to help most kids survive a boring summer. It will appeal to readers who like chess and parents who want a positive story about inclusion and kindness.
—Kelly RothCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Randall has just finished third grade and is about to experience his first summer in Rushport since his parents' divorce. He likes to keep busy and is not finding much to do in his new neighborhood until he and his only friend Max decide to start a chess club. The club is a friendship-making catalyst for Randall until an older man takes over the park chess table and the class bully threatens to ruin the nice community they have built together. Subtle subplots add depth to this tale for early readers. When Mrs. Mick, Randall's older neighbor and babysitter, loses her parrot, the summer gets a little more interesting. When the parrot, whose only words are "love ya, gorgeous," becomes a matchmaker, middle-grade readers will see that friends can come in all ages. Judy Moody and Stink fans will not be bored with this offering. (Fiction. 8-11)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823420247
Publisher:
Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
05/28/2007
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
540L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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