Have you ever read so much that it drove you to a point where you didn’t feel like reading? I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with how many children’s books I still have to read, in addition to my other personal reading list. I’ve reached a total of 10 book reviews in the first month, which means this challenge is going to take me a lot longer than the initial 80 days I thought it would. So I am removing the “80 days” portion of my blog today, but never fear! I will be continuing my challenge, and updating this blog as I continue to review children’s fiction books.
Our next column of shelves features most of our graphic novel collection, so for today I selected Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians. Because anything featuring evil librarians has to be awesome!
The Lunch Lady series by Jarrett Krosoczka is a unique comic series that is black, white, and oddly enough, yellow! Our hero seems to be an ordinary school lunch lady, but is actually the hero, Lunch Lady! Lunch Lady serves up justice against those who would cause crime, including the school librarians who are bent on world domination! Starting by… Destroying video games? (Because video games rot your mind and stuff.)
While I enjoying picking on the librarian stereotype as much as the next person, some of the jokes/details I loved in this book while others fell totally flat for me. Maybe it’s because I started with the second installment of this series instead of the first, but I did not understand what purpose the main characters, aside from our Lunch Lady, served. Regardless, Lunch Lady will save the day and win the hearts of children from grades 2-3 in a pinch.
When I glanced at this next column of shelves, my options were split between three authors. Matt Christopher, Beverly Cleary, and Andrew Clements. Each of these authors has an entire shelf dedicated to their contributions to children’s literature, and I was torn between Cleary or Clements. In the end, I decided to choose the author I was most unfamiliar with, and whose subject matter is most unfamiliar to me. Matt Christopher seems to have found his niche writing fictional sports stories. These sports range from basketball to dirt bike racing. Knowing my knowledge in sports is limited, I grabbed one that had a focus on soccer.
In The Comeback Challenge, Mark Conway is struggling to deal with his parents’ divorce. He has been moved around many times in the past year, and until his parents work out the divorce in court, Mark has been ordered to live with his grandparents back in his hometown. He joins the soccer team, and despite being a really good player, the team captain Vince dislikes him for being a know-it-all who played soccer in England. Mark must learn to open up and talk to both Vince and his parents about why their behavior towards him makes him feel upset.
I liked this book well enough and I think Matt Christopher’s books would be good choices for reluctant readers. I expected that this book would solely be about playing soccer and the difficulties of getting along with the other teammates, so I enjoyed the fact that this book included a strong focus on Mark’s parents’ divorce. This makes the story a good mirror for children dealing with these problems in their own lives!