How to Survive a Totally Boring Summerby 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 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.
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.
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