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Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters (Justin Case Series) Paperback – May 24, 2011

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Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters (Justin Case Series) + Justin Case: Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom (Justin Case Series) + Justin Case: Rules, Tools, and Maybe a Bully (Justin Case Series)
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

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.

From Booklist

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.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 2 and up
  • Series: Justin Case Series (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (May 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312563574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312563578
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
JUSTIN CASE is absolutely hilarious but also meaningful. Like Justin, I am a kid who worries, a lot not a little. So some of Justin's thoughts were like - that is SO me! But not all. For instance I am not scared of dogs and Justin is. I was reading and reading, and I kept being like, okay, just one more bit and that's it! But then I kept going. And I am not somebody who does that, normally. But I just could not stop! I loved the characters of his grandparents named Gingy and Poopsie and also his friends/not-friends like the runny-aroundy boys! They added so much humor but also deepness. I loved when Justin had good days but I was always like, uh-oh -- what's coming next? I think this is an excellent book for third graders, of course, but also for fourth and fifth graders, because we have already been through the things Justin is going through so we can be more like, oh, no, Justin! Don't do that! Okay that is all I am writing because now I am going to read some of my favorite parts again! I give this book 5 Superstars -- so, Justin, you are the Superstar Champion!!!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Justin Case is a hilariously funny book similar to that of Diary of a Wimpy Kid distinguished by the friendliness and level of mean humor. Diary of a Wimpy Kid has a large amount of mean humor, while Justin Case doesn't. Therefore, Justin Case is a much better book and is the ideal book for those who tend to worry, those needing a good book to read, and anyone else with the ability to read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Susan Quinn on September 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
September 14, Tuesday

Do you have a child who worries? I do. He's been worrying since he was two. I worry that his worrying will keep him from having fun, playing with other kids, and trying out for the swim team.

I think it's contagious.

I wish I had Rachel Vail's adorable book (Justin Case: School, Drool and other Daily Disasters), when my now-nearly-twelve worrier was entering third grade, as Justin does. Through a series of hilarious journal entries, we live the life of an eight year old worrier as he fends off rebellious stuffed animals, schemes to get a dog (even though he's terrified of them), and finds a way to survive the year without his best friend in his class. Along the way, he discovers that bravery means not letting your fears get in the way.

Content: gentle, fun book about life in third grade

I love the way this book allows kids to get inside the head of epic-worrier, Justin Case:

September 8, Tuesday
Tomorrow is the first day of third grade.
Mom said to focus on the bright side.
Well, Xavier Schwartz is not in my class this year. That's bright.
No. It's not helping. I'm still focusing on the dark side.

As well as bringing out the real-life triumphs of life as a third grader:

November 7, Saturday
I scored!
Holy cannoli, I scored the winning goal in soccer today!
Dad picked me up and spun me around and around.
He thinks the extra practice somehow made the difference. I will never tell him that I was actually trying to pass the ball to Sam and just aimed it badly so it arced into the goal accidentally.
It is a secret I will keep as long as I live.

My twelve year old gamely read this book, but it really was a bit young for him.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Instead of the bratty, lazy attitude of Greg Heffley (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) or the innumerable boys' books that revolve around fart jokes, this book offers a wry, insightful, smart, and funny portrait of that time in life when young boys start the transition from "little boys" to "big boys."

An excellent book for smart boys...especially for those smart boys who are unusually self-aware.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Caliboots on May 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The text is funny and full of heart, the illustrations are charming and hilarious-- this is the perfect book for kids who liked Wimpy Kid, but who are still in elementary school. Told in a diary format, this chronicle of a boy's year in third grade is full of episodes that kids from grades 3 to 5 (and even some older) will relate to. My 4th grade son tore through this, enjoying the nostalgia of third grade (and probably still relating to it more than he'd admit) and laughing out loud in several places. I'm hoping we can read it aloud together -- fun! A must-have.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Kids review:

This book was one of the funniest books I've ever read. He worries about things I never even thought were possible. I loved the way Justin thought he had a bad teacher and she turned out to be even worse. He has a good sense of humor.

Even my 14 year old sister loved this book. She started to read it and couldn't put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TheRustyKey on December 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
If Woody Allen or David Sedaris were to have kept a diary when they were in third grade, it undoubtedly would have read like `Justin Case', a sharp, quirky, put-the-book-down-because-you're-laughing-so-hard-you-can't-see-the-words-anymore funny narrative that explodes with personality.

Justin Krzeszewski ("Most people just call me Justin K., because Krzeszewski looks like somebody fell asleep and their head rolled around on the computer keyboard") is a little high-strung. If he were half as good at the sports that his parents foolishly keep signing him up for as he is at fretting he would be a gold medalist. But unfortunately soccer, baseball and basketball fall on the same, long list as dogs, Jell-o, the boiler in his basement, his new teacher, failure, and public speaking: things that he not only dislikes intensely, but that send him into fits of near apoplexy. The book shirks a traditional plot structure for a year's worth of Justin's daily diary entries. Some as short as "Mom says no blood. She ruins everything," others covering long, tortured scenes of internal mayhem. The year is full of events that keep Justin up at night, sweating over the possible outcomes: a school election, holidays at insane and unpleasant relative's houses, a dinosaur science fair, old, close friendships growing distant, new ones forming with people that challenge and rattle Justin's sensibilities.

You might suspect that a book featuring a character who regards practically everything with a high level of apprehension and pessimism would become repetitive after a time. But what keeps Justin Case fresh in page after page of diary entries are the moments where Justin surprises you, and sometimes himself, with his bravery and compassion.
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Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters (Justin Case Series)
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