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Big Nate: In a Class by Himself Hardcover – March 23, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews
Book 1 of 7 in the Big Nate Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–6—Nate is a sixth grader who has a problem with organization. Everything is going wrong, and he's piling up detention after detention. Things start to improve when he gets a fortune cookie with a message stating that he will "surpass all others," giving him a purpose for the day and leading to humorous incidents such as when he tries to beat a speed record for eating green beans, and when he tickles his science teacher with a feather duster. This fully developed protagonist debuted in a comic strip; this is Peirce's first book about him, and it is a successful, laugh-out-loud venture. Readers meet a variety of characters, each with a unique personality or trait. Peirce's black-and-white ink illustrations, whether they are comics Nate has drawn or other funny images, help to develop the story. Big Nate will fill in gaps in collections that are looking for books for reluctant readers, and for Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams) read-alikes.—Lora Van Marel, Orland Park Public Library, IL
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Unabashedly capitalizing on the Wimpy Kid wave (with a Jeff Kinney blurb-recommendation splashed across the cover), Peirce’s book, for a slightly younger audience, uses a mix of prose and cartoons to tell a quick story about a day in the life of an extroverted, impish kid. Peirce does have comics cred on his side: his hero, Nate, has been the star of a long-running daily comic strip. He is the classic clever kid who hates school and whose antics land him in ever-hotter water with grumbly teachers. On this particular day, he wakes up feeling fine, sweats a bit about an upcoming test, then opens a fortune cookie at school that reads, “Today you will surpass all others.” So, he dutifully goes about trying to best other kids at everything but seems to only have a knack for racking up detention slips. The cartoons provide plenty of gags at the expense of various adults and classmates, and Nate’s persistent good cheer and moxie make him a likable new proxy for young misfits. Grades 3-6. --Ian Chipman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 500L (What's this?)
  • Series: Big Nate (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061944343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061944345
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Lincoln Peirce (pronounced "purse") is a New York Times bestselling author and cartoonist/writer in Portland, Maine. He lives with his wife and two children, and gives lectures to students about cartoon creating. Peirce is the creator of the comic strip Big Nate, that debuted in 1991 and appears in 250 newspapers in the US and online daily at www.comics.com, and is featured on the website Poptropica, www.poptropica.com. His is the author of Big Nate: In a Class by Himself and Big Nate: Strikes Again, the first two books in the Big Nate series, and BIG NATE FROM THE TOP, a collection of the most hilarious BIG NATE comic strips (Andrews McMeel, Fall 2010 pub). Lincoln Peirce was born in Iowa, earned a B.A. from Colby College, a Master's Degree in drawing/painting from Brooklyn College, studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and has also taught art Xavier High School in New York. A fan and collector of classic country music, Lincoln also hosts a radio show called South by Southwest, dedicated to honky tonk and western swing, from 8:30 to 10:30 every Monday morning on WMPG (a community radio station in Portland, Maine). A huge thrill of his was interviewing Willie Nelson on board his tour bus a few years ago. You can visit him online at www.bignatebooks.com, where Lincoln blogs twice a week.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the first of many chapter books about a kid named Nate, his schoolmates and family, and illustrations about the shenanigans he gets himself into all the time. I got this book for my 13-year-old boy, who absolutely loved it. He's read all the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books, and he was looking for something similar to read now that he's finished the series. He read "Big Nate: In a Class by Himself" pretty quickly, and told me afterwards that it was even funnier than the Wimpy Kid books. If you have a child around that age that has read and enjoyed "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and its sequels, your kid will most likely appreciate reading the Big Nate books too. The back cover says the book is appropriate for ages 8-12.

I've looked through the book myself, as well as all the Wimpy Kid books, and I would say the Big Nate book is a bit more rude. The characters say "shut up", "what the..." and other mildly offensive phrases, and Nate constantly insults his teachers and principal behind their backs. I'm not saying that all parents should refrain from buying this book because of that, but if you don't want your child reading books with that kind of humor, it's understandable. Find another book for your child. If it's not an issue for you and your child, go buy it and let the laughs begin!
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Format: Hardcover
My son loved the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and I was desperate to find another book that he enjoyed reading as much. Well, this is the book. I think he likes it better than the Wimpy Kid series. He carries it with him wherever he goes and asks to stay up and read!! I LOVE this book! To any parent who wants to help their child learn to love reading, this is a good choice. I hope there are more.....
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Format: Hardcover
I am a young teen who recently read this book and found it pretty good. I have read a lot better but must say I did like the book. This book is more for children that wont be affected by some of its humor. Personally I thought the beginning was pretty bad. There is a little bit of inappropriate scenes. For example:"Luke and Amy are in a major lip lock" with a picture cartoon picture of two junior high students pressed up against each other with words circling them stating: " slurp slup slop". That i know is not what I want the next generation of our world reading. There is a little cruelty like some name calling but nothing too bad. Luckily, there is a rating on the back of the book stating that this book is for ages 8-12. Still I don't agree that 8 year olds should be reading this book because of the bad messages. There is some insults of people's art work in this book, but above all this book isn't that bad. If you can get past some of these bad parts and know they are not what you want your life to be like, this book can be funny and fun. I really felt like I was a part of the book as Nate is talking to you the moment everything is happening.

Above all this book was ok but please consider these certain parts of the book before presenting this to your child. Thank you for reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son could not put this book down. He loved the irreverent humor, the use of comic-like panels to move the story along, and the character. First thing he asked when he finished it -- do they have other "Big Nate" books? Happily, they do!
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Format: Hardcover
This was a birthday gift for my 8 year old son but I read it over before giving it to him. I don't understand the enthusiasm for this book. Why can't a writer produce a book that engages boys without filling it with sarcasm and disrespect directed toward adults? I also wasn't too happy with some of the language (moron, stupid, shut your big fat mouth, etc.) The entire book is filled with the character ridiculing others. I could go on and on. Maybe if my son was older and I was trying desperately to get him to read something, I would settle for this. As an adult, I found some passages funny. But this book isn't meant for an adult, it is meant for a child.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic book...my 10 yr old son enjoyed this book so much, he finished it in a day ! He is looking forward to the other upcoming titles in the series.
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A Kid's Review on April 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The book is about Nate, a kid who thinks he is destined for greatness. He thinks that today, he will surpass all others. A fortune cookie tells him so. He tries to set various records, but keeps getting detention slips instead. When school is over and he gives the detention slips to the detention supervisor, she says that kids rarely get four but he got detention slips from all the teachers and he set a record for the most detention slips. If you like funny books, you won't want to miss this one!Big Nate: In a Class by Himself
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Format: Hardcover
I love this book. It all starts in a dream, when he's dreaming about his horrible teacher. He goes to school and his friend gives him a fortune cookie. In the fortune cookie, it says "today you will surpass all others." He is destined for greatness! At least, that's what Nate thinks.
This book is very funny. I could not put it down and finished it in one day. I'm 9. I couldn't wait to get the next book.
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