Although My Life as a Fifth-Grade Comedian by Elizabeth Levy was published in 1997, it still works twenty years later.
Bobby is the class clown and is constantly getting into trouble. His principal has threatened to send him to the School for Intervention. His older brother also got into trouble a lot, and he has been kicked out of school and out of their house for bad behavior. Bobby doesn't know when to stop joking and often takes jokes too far. He isn't turning in his school work and is struggling to get along with his dad.
This book look like it would be fluff, from the blurb on the back to the cover, but it is a lot more complex than that. Bobby's dad is often a jerk - one who doesn't mean to be a jerk, but there he is anyway. Bobby and his brother used to laugh with his dad often, but now his dad has taken his humor on a mean sarcastic bend, and Bobby may not be too far behind him.
With the help of a good teacher, Bobby is assigned to create a school laugh off to save his grade and to be able to stay in his school. Will Bobby's efforts help his family and himself be able to communicate more effectively or are they all lost causes?
I think some students will see themselves in this book. I think others will see their relationship with their parents in this middle-grade book. This book is thoughtful and worth reading.
Click this Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We are in need of Spanish books at this time, especially board books. We can always use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the book you donate.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.