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Boy or Beast (Creature from the 7th Grade) Hardcover – September 13, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-7-Many teens go through awkward physical changes in adolescence, but 12-year-old Charlie's changes are extreme: during science class he transforms into an eight-foot-tall mutant dinosaur. His family isn't surprised, though. Unbeknownst to Charlie, his grandmother was one, too. His oversize status has its pros and cons. His two best friends, Sam and Lucille, remain loyal. The Banditos, the cool kids' clique, suddenly want him in. The downside: bully and Bandito member Craig will do anything to keep him out, and Charlie's athletic older brother resents not being the star of the family. But now that Charlie doesn't look human, he's forced to contemplate how he feels as a human-and realizes he's spent too much time worrying about what other people think of him. When offered a chance to join the Banditos by betraying Sam and Lucille, he wavers, and then stands up for himself in an emotionally satisfying conclusion. Readers will relate to his evolution from insecure nerd to confident dino, aided by solid supporting characters in Charlie's parents and a caring science teacher. Balaban has a keen eye for both middle-school angst and the quiet moments that define Charlie's loving family. Rash's bold, full-page illustrations are spare but provide additional laughs. A funny, contemporary allegory about learning to like yourself, scales and all.-M. Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

“Bob Balaban does it all (really he does). He directs, acts and writes funny (really he does). In my opinion, this book is a monsterpiece." — Henry Winkler

"Bob Balaban knows this world so well, you might think this actually happened to him. Read it and you'll see!" — Whoopi Goldberg

“A very funny and insightful exploration of what it means to be the REAL you.” — Julianne Moore

"With occasional comic drawings and lots of humor regarding life as a dinosaur among humans (such as the scale of reptile farts), this romp is a balm for anyone who’s ever felt awkward in their own scales err, skin. . . . A wacky story of loyalty and self-discovery." — Kirkus Reviews

"With occasional comic drawings and lots of humor regarding life as a dinosaur among humans (such as the scale of reptile farts), this romp is a balm for anyone who’s ever felt awkward in their own scales err, skin. . . . A wacky story of loyalty and self-discovery." — Kirkus Reviews

"An endearingly quirky story about embracing oneself." — Publishers Weekly

"The amiable drollery of The Creature From the Seventh Grade carries it a long way." — The New York Times

"A funny, contemporary allegory about learning to like yourself, scales and all." — School Library Journal

"Balaban (better known as a longtime stage and screen actor) excels in creating a voice that's absolutely spot-on for a tween boy." — Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Series: Creature from the 7th Grade (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (September 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670012718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670012718
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,809,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is laugh out loud funny and has real insight into what it's like to be a different kind of kid in middle school. The character of Charlie is so winning that you can't wait to find out what happens to him. After my son and I finished the book, I ordered another copy for my nephew. It will be great fun to see what this writer does for a follow up.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book--couldn't put it down. It's a page turner (and I'm 80 years old!!). The reader is always anxious to know what is going to happen next. Illustrations are fabulous. They go along perfectly with the story. A great book every junior high student should read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was a great book, but it is a little too focused on popularity than the pros and cons of being a mutant dinosaur. If you like that better, then this is great. I hope there`s going to be a sequel.
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By crystal on January 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
good story. son read almost half the book in one sitting. I will be looking for more of this series
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