Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to NOT Reading by Tommy Greenwald

author’s website and book trailer


Summary:Charlie Joe doesn’t like to read and will work twice as hard to find ways not to do it. Timmy is a long time friend who has been doing Charlie Joe’s reading in exchange for ice cream sandwiches. When they argue before a major research project is due, Charlie Joe knows that he needs to find a replacement reader and he’s willing to sacrifce his crush (Hannah) and the trust of his parents to the process.

Personal Reaction: Illustrations for the Diary of a Wimpy Kid set, frequent stops for short lists and less-than-a-paragraph chapters designed to amuse and provide tips to get out of reading. The book feels like it’s for 6th graders, but main characters have insightful 8th grader-ish moments. Best friend Katie is an example of a girl who is older than her years. Charlie Joe definitely has his girl-radar going. Adorable last second plot twist.

Realia: stack of library books (especially books on cliques and baseball fiction – the book Billy’s Bargain does not exist), cell phone, stuffed dogs, a copy of one or more of Charlie Joe’s lists, Beatles album, year end school dance flyer

Foods related to the story: ice cream sandwiches, school cafeteria tray with any selections will do fine

Books connected to the story: (see Realia) biggest book you can find of Mark Twain writings, Cliques, or Heat.

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