JAKE DRAKE: TEACHER'S PET by Andrew Clements


Age Range: 8 - 10
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In the third episode of a series that might as well be dubbed "Jake Drake: Problem Solver," Clements's fourth-grade narrator again looks back at third grade, in particular an uncomfortable week when he became the subject of a little too much teacherly praise. All Jake does is help his math teacher open a computer program, rinse some brushes in Art, sit quietly on the bus and such—but suddenly he's golden, getting all-too-public head pats even from fearsome Principal Karp and Mr. Collins, the gym teacher. Worse yet, Jake's desperate attempts to regain his previous anonymity with rude behavior backfire, making him look even more like a brownnose to his classmates. Fans of Hurwitz's Aldo or Kline's Horrible Harry will feel right at home with this easy middle reader, and if the plotting is more labored than in Clements's stand-alone tales (Frindle, 1996; The Landry News, 1999; etc), his young protagonist shows a winning mix of pride and common sense—plus the courage to share his discomfiture at last with Mrs. Karp. She cleverly gets him off the hook after explaining that the fault lies not with him, but with her and the other grown-ups for not realizing the effects of their preferential treatment. Children aren't the only readers who might learn something from this. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1416939326
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster