Friday, July 2, 2010


The last book I read from Rachel Vail was a YA called LUCKY. I loved it! (I still need to read the sequel). When I saw the cover of this one, I was immediately drawn to it, especially since my move to elementary librarian.

Justin is a bit of a worrier. A week before third grade begins, he cannot sleep. He worries about not getting into a good schedule. He worries about what teacher he'll get and whether or not his best friend will be in his class. When school starts, the kids notice his worrying one day when he's devising a back up plan for their project and they nickname him Justin Case. Justin had always wanted a nickname, but not anymore.

The novel is written in a diary format, so we really get to know Justin and all of his idiosyncrasies. He has a community of stuffed animals and they are fighting over who will be mayor. He is terrified of dogs, yet he is more terrified of robbers, so he still begs his parents for a dog. He is an adorable, funny kid, with an equally adorable family. His sister is precocious and sweet. Here is an example of her personality:
After her mom tells her that there are no boyfriends or girlfriends in elementary school, she says, "I know that, Mommy, but I have three boyfriends anyway."

Because Justin is such a worrier, this leads him to believe that he isn't brave. He encounters several situations in the book that cause him to grow and become the boy he needs to be.

I loved Justin, his family and everything about the book! The illustrations were delightful and totally matched the mood of the book! I hope Rachel Vail writes more children's books. I would love more about Justin!
Click here for my review of her YA book LUCKY. Click here for her website.