The Resource My life as a book, Janet Tashjian ; illustrated by Jake Tashjian

My life as a book, Janet Tashjian ; illustrated by Jake Tashjian

Label
My life as a book
Title
My life as a book
Statement of responsibility
Janet Tashjian ; illustrated by Jake Tashjian
Creator
Contributor
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Dubbed a "reluctant reader" by his teacher, twelve-year-old Derek spends summer vacation learning important lessons even though he does not complete his summer reading list
Member of
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Grades 4-7 Twelve-year-old Derek is not a reader. His assignment to read three books over the summer stinks. But then something that he wants to read catches Derek’s eye. In the attic, he finds a 10-year-old article about a teenage girl who drowned on a Martha’s Vineyard beach. When he questions his mother about the article, her nervousness tells him something’s up, so he takes on the assignment of discovering what happened on the beach that day and why it’s important. Janet Tashjian, known for her young adult books, offers a novel that’s part Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2007),part intriguing mystery; yet the best element here is really the first-person voice, which captures so completely the pushes and pulls in the life of someone with learning disabilities. Derek is brash, careless, and usually willing to do something stupid. He is also bright, a talented artist, and smart enough to know when he has gone too far. Adding to the book’s effectiveness is a generous typeface that looks like printing and artwork by the author’s 14-year-old son, Jake. Like the story’s narrator, he uses stick figures to illustrate vocabulary words, and here they march down the margins. Some are simple depictions, like a handful of flowers for the word bouquet. Some take more thought: a sad face moving to a happier one for adapt. Give this to kids who think they don’t like reading. It might change their minds. -- Cooper, Ilene (Reviewed 08-01-2010) (Booklist, vol 106, number 22, p54)
  • Gr 4 – 7 — Twelve-year-old Derek has been identified as a reluctant reader. He likes to read, but doesn't enjoy required materials. He says he prefers having his own adventures (tossing as hand grenades the avocados his mother is saving for dinner, climbing onto the roof with a croquet set to hit wooden balls into the satellite dish) to learning about someone else's life. When his teacher gives the class summer reading and writing assignments, Derek finds a way to distract himself from the task. He discovers an old newspaper clipping about a 17-year-old who drowned, and his mother explains that the teen was babysitting him at the time and died saving him. Derek is determined to learn more about her death and his involvement in it. The margins of this book feature vocabulary words illustrated with cartoons. The protagonist is by turns likable and irritating, but always interesting. He is sure to engage fans of Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books (Abrams) as well as those looking for a spunky, contemporary boy with a mystery to solve. Reluctant readers will appreciate the book's large print and quick-paced story.—Helen Foster James, University of California at San Diego --Helen Foster James (Reviewed August 1, 2010) (School Library Journal, vol 56, issue 8, p114)
  • When 12-year-old Derek discovers an old newspaper article in his attic about a girl "found dead" on a beach, he becomes obsessed, especially when he learn the teenager may have died saving him from the ocean when he was just a toddler. Derek is a mischievous boy who enjoys using avocados as grenades more than reading, but as he uncovers the truth about what happened 10 years ago from those who were there, he discovers he is "surrounded by stories" both tragic and inspiring. Readers may not quite understand the intensity of Derek's obsession, which takes him from his home in California to Martha's Vineyard, where the accident took place, but his story moves quickly, thanks in part to stick figures drawn in the book's margins by Derek to define "vocabulary words." Some of these illustrations, drawn by Tashjian's 14-year-old son, Jake, are quite clever ("injustice" shows two irate students reading a sign saying "School on Saturday"). Derek's concluding speech may strain credibility, but a relatable and fun format make this a smart choice for "reluctant" readers--like Derek. Ages 9–12. (July) --Staff (Reviewed June 28, 2010) (Publishers Weekly, vol 257, issue 25, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Twelve-year-old Derek—a notoriously reluctant reader of everything but Calvin and Hobbes—would rather set the grass on fire with his sister's old sunlamp than tackle his summer reading list. More than that, though, he wants to figure out why his mom's acting so weird about the ten-year-old article he found from a Martha's Vineyard newspaper entitled "LOCAL GIRL FOUND DEAD ON BEACH." That mystery threads throughout this engaging middle-grade novel, told in a dryly hilarious first-person voice. Words like "impulse" and "discipline" are illustrated Pictionary-style by the author's teenage son, mirroring Derek's vocabulary-building technique: "My parents insist I use this system all the time, so I usually pretend I'm a spy being tortured by Super Evildoers who force me to practice 'active reading' or be killed by a foreign assassin." When he's not making avocado grenades, the smart-alecky Derek reveals himself as an endearing softy who loves his friends, family and dog and is even capable, in time, of befriending—horrors!—the class goody-goody. A kinder, gentler Wimpy Kid with all the fun and more plot. (Fiction. 10-14)(Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2010)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
366939
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Tashjian, Janet
Index
no index present
LC call number
PZ7.T211135
LC item number
My 2010
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 4
  • 7
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorDate
1994-
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Tashjian, Jake
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Derek Fallon books
Series volume
0001
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Summer
  • Secrecy
  • Families
  • Books and reading
  • Animals
  • Children's art
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
My life as a book, Janet Tashjian ; illustrated by Jake Tashjian
Instantiates
Publication
Note
"Christy Ottaviano Books."
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
211 p.
Isbn
9780805089035
Lccn
2009018909
Other physical details
b&w ill.
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o373560459
  • (OCoLC)373560459
Label
My life as a book, Janet Tashjian ; illustrated by Jake Tashjian
Publication
Note
"Christy Ottaviano Books."
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
211 p.
Isbn
9780805089035
Lccn
2009018909
Other physical details
b&w ill.
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o373560459
  • (OCoLC)373560459

Library Locations

    • Alpharetta BranchBorrow it
      10 Park Plaza, Alpharetta, GA, 30009, US
      34.073948 -84.292303
    • East Roswell BranchBorrow it
      2301 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell, GA, 30076, US
      34.002886 -84.294341
    • Metropolitan BranchBorrow it
      1332 Metropolitan Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30310, US
      33.718804 -84.407351
    • Palmetto BranchBorrow it
      9111 Cascade Palmetto Hwy, Palmetto, GA, 30268, US
      33.53057 -84.664268
    • Roswell BranchBorrow it
      115 Norcross Street, Roswell, GA, 30075, US
      34.025015 -84.357937
    • Southeast Atlanta BranchBorrow it
      1463 Pryor Road, Atlanta, GA, 30315, US
      33.714794 -84.394275
    • South Fulton BranchBorrow it
      4055 Flat Shoals Road, Union City, GA, 30291, US
      33.587797 -84.51959
    • Wolf Creek BranchBorrow it
      3100 Enon Road, Atlanta, GA, 30331, US
      33.672616 -84.574193
Processing Feedback ...