Rummanah Aasi
  I was a reluctant reader for much of my childhood. I found the act of reading boring and could not understand why it enraptured my family and friends. It's not until I found the right book did reading click for me. If you are interested in tips of how to help a reluctant reader become a reader for life, check out my own self-reflection blog post for some tips. I remembered the reluctant reader in me when I read Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading and know the then-me would have loved this book.

Description: Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he's managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he's in middle school, avoiding reading isn't as easy as it used to be. And when his friend Timmy McGibney decides that he's tired of covering for him, Charlie Joe finds himself resorting to desperate measures to keep his perfect record intact.

Review: Charlie Joe Jackson hates reading with a passion. He avoids it at all costs and does not understand why people love to read. When he is assigned to read a book for class, he comes with a wide variety of game plans to have someone else read the book for him. His usual plan of having Timmy McGibney to read for him in exchange for extra dessert falls through, Charlie Joe concocts a new scheme even if it involves someone else to be his crush's boyfriend. 
  Greenwald has captured the voice of a middle schooler without sounding condescending. Charlie Joe is a fun character and I liked his humor in his tips of ways to avoid reading at the beginning of each page. While avid readers can't share Charlie Joe's aversion to reading, they can enjoy the wild and crazy ride of the plot. Reluctant readers can find themselves in the same shoes as Charlie Joe. Cartoony ink illustrations are lightly sprinkled throughout, adding chuckles and punch to the text. This book would be a good candidate for a read aloud.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grade 4 and up.

If you like this book try: Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Extra Credit by Tommy Greenwald, Ungifted by Gordon Korman,
5 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Definitely can't relate to good old Charlie here, but this does sound like a fun read Rummanah! Does he find a love for reading in the end? Might have to get this one for my nieces and flip to the back to see ;-)

  2. I can't imagine not wanting to read, but still this sounds fun and quirky and I am sure it will appeal to kids.

  3. I'll have to remember this one as a rec. I wouldn't know what a reluctant reader feels like since I've never been one. :)

  4. Anonymous Says:

    This sounds like such a fun story! I was nothing like Charlie growing up (I probably am more like Timmy from the sound of it), but I knew plenty of kids who didn't get reading either. I agree with you, sometimes it just takes the right book!

  5. This book sounds like it will appeal to everybody :) If I end up teaching the junior grades, I'll be adding this one to my classroom library for sure. Thanks, Rummanah!

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