Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories About Growing Up Scieszka
Scieszka, Jon. 2008. KNUCKLEHEAD: TALL TALES AND MOSTLY TRUE STORIES ABOUT GROWING UP SCIESZKA. New York: Viking. ISBN 9780670011063 [Suggested Grade Levels 3–6]
Although the cover leads one to believe it’s a comic book, what’s inside is a laugh-out-loud funny account of growing up with five brothers. Fans of Scieszka, especially those reluctant readers drawn in through his GUYS WRITE FOR GUYS READ, will enjoy the notion that such a cool guy was such a knucklehead growing up. This book will serve as a great read aloud for parents and children since parents of Scieszka’s era will doubtless remember the not-so-fun-but-funny experience of being squashed into the back seat with siblings, getting blamed for something someone else did, and wearing hand-me-down clothes.
He gives the straight scoop about a multitude of topics; weird books, model planes, cooking, and that letting the cat eat roadside food on a car trip will ensure a chain-reaction barf-fest. Readers will snicker as they think about similar antics they have already done and plot out new ideas to try.
The charm of this book is the underlying sentiment that family is what makes life great, and it is evident in his writing that he cherishes those memories and his five brothers. As he explains in the last chapter, the term “Knucklehead” has gone from being a bad thing “What Knucklehead put an army man in the toaster?” to something almost soft and cuddly years later “It’s been great seeing all of you Knuckleheads.”
Have readers write about a funny family experience; a car trip, holiday with relatives, something blurted out at the dinner table, etc.
Other books written by Jon Scieszka:
GUYS WRITE FOR GUYS READ. ISBN 0670060070
THE STINKY CHEESE MAN AND OTHER FAIRLY STUPID TALES. ISBN 0670035696
THE TIME WARP TRIO SERIES. ISBN 9780142300589
THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS. ISBN 0140544518
By Tammy Korns