Minn and Jake's Almost Terrible Summer

Overview

There are a few things / about your best friend

that you can only learn / when you see where he’s from.

Minn knew / that Jake was from the city.

But she didn’t know / that his grandmother was Korean.

...

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Overview

There are a few things / about your best friend

that you can only learn / when you see where he’s from.

Minn knew / that Jake was from the city.

But she didn’t know / that his grandmother was Korean.

That he liked taking bubble baths. / That his brother, Soup,

might be an eating champion. / That Jake was a cheater,

and that he had a . . . / girlfriend?!

There are some things / about your best friend

that it’s better not / to know.

Bouncing free verse and playful black-and-white illustrations combine to make this a charming follow-up to Minn and Jake.

 

Minn and Jake's Almost Terrible Summer is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is a gentle, resonant story that explores the ways we struggle to learn about one another, and discover ourselves in the process.” —Booklist

“Côté's black-and-white cartoons nicely highlight the action and, together with the text, capture the very essence of childhood summers. Good fun.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Whimsical ink sketches enhance the storytelling in this creative early chapter book that features smart, endearing characters and humorous antics.” —School Library Journal

“Wong is still a keen interpreter of the preteen psyche, deftly exploring such issues as the perceived exoticness of ethnic identities, the ethics of line-cutting, and the almost insurmountable odds against nurturing friendship between a very tall girl and a very short boy.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“A truly enjoyable read filling a very real and undeniable need.”—Elizabeth Bird, A Fuse #8 Production

Children's Literature - Joella Peterson
Fans of Minn and Jake will not be disappointed with this sequel. In this second book of prose, Minn and Jake almost have the worst summer. Jake and his family go back to Los Angeles to visit the neighborhood they moved from in the previous book. Jake hadn't wanted want to waste his precious days of carefree summer going to a slew of camps, but now he thinks that plan might have been a good idea. But when Minn and her family surprise Jake and also visit California, he thinks things might turn around until he makes Minn mad by not being nice to anyone, being especially mean to Soup (Jake's little brother) and having a (potential) crush on a girl from his old neighborhood. Jake and Minn both have to learn not only to say sorry, but to forgive each other if their summer is going to get any better. With poems, black and white pictures, and great characters, this wonderful story has depth and high interest without scaring readers with too much text. Reviewer: Joella Peterson
School Library Journal

Gr 3-5

Minn and Jake are back in this new free-verse installment. This time the 10-year-old pals are spending the summer apart. Jake is visiting his old neighborhood in Los Angeles and is excited to have no plans. No science camp. No swimming lessons. But he soon discovers that it isn't much fun to wake up every day at 6 a.m. to his little brother, Soup, jumping all over him or have his Korean grandmother stuffing him with food to "make him grow." Jake misses Minn, but he hasn't done a great job of keeping in touch this summer. But when she and her parents make a surprise visit, things start to heat up. On a trip to Disneyland, the friends have a fight and end up not speaking. All is resolved when they both acknowledge their mistakes. Whimsical ink sketches enhance the storytelling in this creative early chapter book that features smart, endearing characters and humorous antics.-Bethany A. Lafferty, Las Vegas-Clark County Library, NV

Kirkus Reviews
This summer Jake has opted to go with his mother and little brother to visit his Korean grandmother in his old neighborhood in Los Angeles, thus exempting himself from tightly scheduled camps and lessons. Now he regrets his choice: He cannot reconnect with his old friends, and seems to fall into one humiliating, embarrassing predicament after another. He avoids contacting his best friend at home, Minn, even though he really misses her, leading her to believe that he doesn't care anymore. When she comes to L.A., everything is resolved during a riotous visit to Disneyland. Wong once again employs free verse to create a charming, breezy, compassionate glimpse into the insecurities, misunderstandings and awkwardnesses of children's friendships. Minn and Jake, brother Soup and Grandmother Halmoni are quirky and charming, and their adventures are outrageous and hilarious. Cote's black-and-white cartoons nicely highlight the action and, together with the text, capture the very essence of childhood summers. Good fun. (Fiction. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374349776
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 8/5/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 779,389
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

JANET S. WONG and GENEVIÈVE CÔTÉ collaborated on Minn and Jake, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book (see page 45). Ms. Wong lives in Hopewell, New Jersey. Ms. Côté lives in Montreal, Quebec.

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