KNUCKLEHEAD by Jon Scieszka


Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories of Growing up Scieszka
Age Range: 8 - 11
Email this review


Offering an answer to the perennial query about where his ideas come from, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature looks back to his early 1960s youth. Fans will not be surprised to learn that, except for his mother (a nurse, fortunately) he grew up in an all-male household: father, five brothers and “even our dogs and cats and fish.” The resulting memories include group pukes in the back seat, slipping toy soldiers into the Christmas crèche, playing neighborhood games like “Slaughterball” and idyllic summer expeditions into the woods around his grandparents’ cottage—not to mention the pleasures of random dips into the household children’s encyclopedia and spurning “those weirdos Dick and Jane” to “find out more about real things like dogs in cars and cats in hats.” Illustrated with truly dorky school-yearbook photos and family snapshots, this account of a thoroughly normal childhood doesn’t match Gary Paulsen’s memoirs for hilarity or Tomie DePaola’s for cultural insight, but it will draw chuckles of amusement from middle-graders (particularly less eager readers) and of recognition from their parents and grandparents. (Autobiography. 8-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-670-01106-3
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2008

Kirkus Interview
Jon Scieszka
August 11, 2014

Jon Scieszka is the funniest kid's writer in America, hands down. He's also one of the most respected. We talk to Scieszka about his new book Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor, in which Frank Einstein, kid genius and inventor, is staying with his grandfather while his parents travel to Antarctica. View video >


ChildrenTERRIFYING TALES by Jon Scieszka
by Jon Scieszka


ChildrenA WHOLE NOTHER STORY by Cuthbert  Soup
by Cuthbert Soup
ChildrenLOOKING BACK by Lois Lowry
by Lois Lowry
ChildrenHUNTER MORAN SAVES THE UNIVERSE by Patricia Reilly Giff
by Patricia Reilly Giff
ChildrenGUY-WRITE by Ralph Fletcher
by Ralph Fletcher