Grade 2–4—Honest and full of heart, Justin Case is a story for an oft-ignored segment of kids: the sensitive, introverted, and observant. Those youngsters will see themselves in third grader Justin Krzeszewski, a full-blown worrywart with good intentions. He wants to be a good student. He wants to make friends. It's just that sometimes things don't work out, often with humorous results. Through his journal entries during the course of the year, readers see his changing friendships, embarrassments, a "be careful what you wish for" new pet, and the dreaded gym-class rope. His voice is authentic, and touches of playdates and "screen time" will ring true with today's youngsters. The format will remind many readers of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" (Abrams), but with fewer illustrations and a more reflective tone than Jeff Kinney's series. Cordell's intermittent doodles pair nicely with the personal quality of the text. Readers who are looking for plot-driven excitement will have to look elsewhere. Justin Case is about the feelings that kids experience as they navigate the roller coaster of family and school life. This is subtly satisfying storytelling. No miraculous character overhauls—just a boy growing up and, hopefully, becoming a bit braver.—Travis Jonker, Dorr Elementary School, MI
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Justin K. (for Krzeszewski), nicknamed Justin Case, has fairly standard third-grade worries (former best friends, rope climbing in gym) and pretty typical joys (current best friends, making it to the top of the rope). He expresses all of these in diary form throughout a school year, and his traditional nuclear family, which celebrates both Jewish and Christian holidays, supports him during all of the multiplication tables, violin lessons, soccer games, and dog messes. Vail’s previous works have primarily been for either younger (Sometimes I’m Bombaloo, 2002) or older (Lucky, 2008) audiences, and here, the voice focused on this in-between age wavers a bit. In addition, the line drawings add humor, but are small and few and far between. Some readers may feel that Justin lacks the inherent charm of other peers, such as Lenore Look’s Alvin Ho or Katy Kelly’s Melonhead, and they may find that Justin’s middle-class suburban life lacks drama. Others, though, will find comfort in Justin’s normalcy and in seeing that it’s OK to still love your stuffed animals, even when you’re a “fourth-grader-to-be.” Grades 3-5. --Andrew Medlar --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Editorial Reviews
my son wasn't into this book as he was in the wimpy kid series or magic tree house. i thought he would enjoy this because he has the same name as the kid but he struggled to read... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Justin's Mommy
I'm O.K. with antic humor books, and thinking man fart humor books, and bizarro quirky books - middle graders can roll with a lot and variety in reading is sort of the point. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Pop Bop
it was cool and good and great and full of humor and laughter and very silly. but was not my most favorite book in the intire worldPublished 9 months ago by mamaminch
Does your family have a worrier? Justin Case will crack you up. Have a reluctant reader? Presented as journal entries this series comes in digestible chunks with great... Read morePublished 12 months ago by an Aggie
Read this book. As a bonus, you'll get to laugh a lot.
I also recommend this to children who like chapter books a bit more advanced than Jigsaw Jones but not quite as... Read more
My son received this as a giveaway for completing a book club. We all love it. Both my sons have read it, I've read it and even though my husband hasn't I often read passages to... Read morePublished 14 months ago by William McCracken