Synopses & Reviews
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. Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald is the hilarious story of an avid non-reader and the extreme lengths to which he'll go to get out of reading a book.
"Greenwald pulls off a clever bit of reverse psychology in his debut, first in a series starring a cheeky middle grader who goes to great lengths to avoid reading and whose humor and rapid-fire delivery should draw in like-minded kids. From the start, Charlie Joe schmoozes playfully with readers, promising short chapters and shorter words ('One syllable. Or less'). Kids who, upon entering the school library, may have been asked (as Charlie Joe is), 'did you take a wrong turn somewhere?' will find an enthusiastic advocate in the boy. Throughout, he provides 'tips' that dedicated nonreaders will enjoy ('If you have to read a book, make sure it has short chapters'). The novel chronicles Charlie Joe's machinations to avoid reading, which involve getting his classmates to do so for him; using this tactic for a research paper about school cliques yields revelations about clique mentality, but lands Charlie Joe in more trouble. Doth Charlie Joe protest too much? Maybe, but Greenwald wisely eschews an end-of-story reformation for his comic antihero, ensuring that readers will be treated to more of his entertaining circumlocutions in future books. Ages 9 12. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Charlie Joe Jackson is proud to say that he's never read an entire book from cover to cover. Sure, he's glanced at the first chapter and last chapters and maybe even read the flap copy, but when it comes to actually reading what's in the middle, Charlie counts on his friend Timmy McGibney to do the reading for him in exchange for an ice cream sandwich. But when Timmy decides that his price has gone up to three ice cream sandwiches, Charlie Joe Jackson is faced with two very unappealing options: let himself be blackmailed or read an entire book. What's an enterprising non-reader to do?
About the Author
TOMMY GREENWALD has enjoyed reading all his life, which is why he's appalled that his kids Charlie, Joe and Jack, would prefer getting a dental check-up to checking out a book. After years of pleading, threatening, and bribing, Tommy finally decided the only way to get his kids to read was to write a book about how to get out of reading. This is the result. And they read it! (So they say.) The Executive Creative Director at SPOTCO, an entertainment advertising agency in New York City, Tommy lives in Connecticut with his wife, Cathy; his non-reading sons, Charlie, Joe and Jack; and his dogs, Moose and Coco.Check out Tommy's website (minimal reading required) at www.tommygreenwald.com