Jake Drake wants to win the school's first-ever science fair, but when he hears that a local businessman is offering a new computer as a first-place prize, his eagerness turns into obsession. In the contest, he's pitted against a pair of nosy third-grade classmates. Jake doesn't win the prize, but as he reflects on his experience, he realizes that he's learned a far more valuable lesson. Another engaging Andrew Clements book for beginning readers.
Third-grader Jake is excited about possibly winning a new computer in the school's first-ever science fair. The trouble is that two classmates are bound to win because they are so competitive. Still, Jake works out a magnet project, doesn't tell the nosy two, avoids the "help" of his K-I-A/D-I-A (Know-it all, Done-it-all) Dad, and finally enlists his good friend to help. He doesn't win first prize, but neither do the over-eager beavers. And Jake learns something about getting excited about science, how to organize and present a project, and he discovers it's really fun to mess around with magnets. Clements brings to this "Ready-for-Chapter" book, the second in the "Jake Drake" series, his usual knack for sounding like a kid narrator and his eye for school culture. Avendano's ink wash and pen illustrations are bland but adequate, and dialog, a few lists and charts, believable characters and situations, and some worthwhile themes make this a good read with an invitingly easy look. 2001, Aladdin, $15.00 and $3.99. Ages 7 to 10. Reviewer: Susan Hepler AGES: 7 8 9 10
Gr 2-4-Fourth-grader Jake Drake looks back on his third-grade science-fair project. Sure, he learned a lot about electromagnets, but he learned even more about the pitfalls of being a know-it-all. It all started when his principal announced the school's first-ever science fair. The plot thickened when a local businessman announced that a computer would be the grand prize. A self-described computer nut, Jake refused to work with his best friend because he didn't want to share the prize. Finally, it came to him that his single-mindedness was turning him into a person he didn't like, and his project wasn't fun. Even though he and his partner took second prize, and thus no computer, Jake valued the experience. He sounds like a regular fourth grader as he describes his teachers and classmates. But he also digs deep to reveal the character-building lessons in everyday events. Full-page, black-and-white drawings show the competitive classmates as they work toward winning the great prize. A cut above the usual beginning chapter book because of its depth, this realistic plot and Jake's personality will seal the deal with transitional readers.-Pat Leach, Lincoln City Libraries, NE Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"A cut above the usual beginning chapter book."
School Library Journal