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Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
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Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading (Charlie Joe Jackson Series) Hardcover – July 5, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews
Book 1 of 6 in the Charlie Joe Jackson Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“In author Tommy Greenwald's raucous debut…this comedy of comeuppance shows its true colors, and, irony of ironies, is impossible to put down!” ―Disney's Family Fun

“A perfect book for the non-reader or reluctant reader in your life...Laugh-out-loud funny, clever, and relevant, I believe Tommy Greenwald has written a book that will appeal to kids of all reading tastes.” ―ReadKiddoRead.com

“This is a fun, fast-moving look at middle-school life through the eyes of a kid who would rather clean his room than pick up a book. Reluctant readers will be pleased.” ―SLJ

“A delightful choice for reluctant readers...Tommy Greenwald's writing style is breezy and accessible without being too easy. It is also extremely funny and hard to put down. If the book's cover showed something blowing up, every reluctant boy reader in middle school would be proud to carry it around while secretly enjoying the nonviolent, straightforward story. Bookworms won't care; they'll love it either way.” ―BookPage

“Kids who do peruse the book will enjoy Charlie Joe's chuckleworthy tips on keeping reading at bay, even if they take exception to his list of "helpful oxymorons: 1. good book, 2. happy reader, 3. important author, 4. nice library, 5. favorite bookstore.” ―BCCB

“Charlie Joe's insider knowledge of the inner machinations of middle-school cliques will make younger readers smile in anticipation, and his direct address to readers makes make him feel like an older buddy showing the way…Slackers everywhere have a new, likable hero in Charlie Joe Jackson.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Hilarious...This debut is filled with passages that beg to be shared...With its subversive humor and contemporary details drawn straight from kids' worlds, this clever title should attract a wide following.” ―Booklist, STARRED review

“Greenwald pulls off a clever bit of reverse psychology in his debut, first in a series starring a cheeky middle grader who goes to great lengths to avoid reading--and whose humor and rapid-fire delivery should draw in like-minded kids.” ―Publishers Weekly

About the Author

TOMMY GREENWALD has enjoyed reading all his life, which is why he's appalled that his kids Charlie, Joe and Jack, would prefer getting a dental check-up to checking out a book. After years of pleading, threatening, and bribing, Tommy finally decided the only way to get his kids to read was to write a book about how to get out of reading. This is the result. And they read it! (So they say.) The Executive Creative Director at SPOTCO, an entertainment advertising agency in New York City, Tommy lives in Connecticut with his wife, Cathy; his non-reading sons, Charlie, Joe and Jack; and his dogs, Moose and Coco.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Series: Charlie Joe Jackson Series (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (July 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596436913
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596436916
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #869,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
So thoroughly had Charlie Joe convinced me to give up reading there were almost no future reviews. But in the end, I enjoyed Tommy Greenwald's book so much I guess I'll keep searching for another book that makes me laugh as hard.

This is how Charlie Joe Jackson greets us on page one:

If you're reading this book, you don't like reading.
In fact, you do whatever you can to avoid reading, and the fact that you're holding a book in your hand right now is kind of shocking.

From here, Charlie Joe goes on to warn us of the many dangers of reading, such as it makes us fat. In a way, this book is split into two books. One book is a conversation between us and Charlie about why reading sucks and what authors might do to improve it. The second book is the actual story, which is also fun.

Charlie's a likeable enough guy, though he narrates his story with impeccable skill, which is odd considering how much he hates to read:) He's a middle school boy in Eastport, who loves beetles, chocolate, and dogs. He's innovative in a Ferris Bueller kind of way (always likeable), he's considerate of other people (especially, shock, his big sister), and he's popular. It's been a long time since I read a book about a middle school protagonist who doesn't feel alienated from the rest of the population. Charlie's well liked and the "hottest" girl in his grade has a crush on him. It's refreshing to sometimes get to read from the perspective of the sort of character who's usually a jerk and/or villain in so many other books.

Greenwald takes great advantage of the fact that his protagonist is a first person narrator and this is one book I cannot imagine written any other way. Charlie Joe is written quite well in his scenes with other characters.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw this book featured in a parenting magazine and thought it might be a good fit for my reluctant reader. It was great. She read it in less than a week, which if you have a kid who hates to read, then you know that is a big deal. The chapters wer short, the topic perfection, and she could really see herself in the main character. So, it fully deserves 5 stars from me because its been quite awhile since this momma has seen her daughter read a book 200+ pages without complaining.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book Charlie Joe Jackson guide to not reading is a great over all book. It is very funny I really, really like it. It was one of the best books I ever read about real life. It starts out like this:

My name is Charlie Joe Jackson, and I hate reading. And if you're reading this book you hate reading, too.

Awesome isn't it. If you haven't read it get the book.

The book is about a kid and his struggle to not read. Charlie Joe hates to read and he will do anything to not read. He said reading is evil and it makes you fat.

I loved the book and I think you should read it if you did not already.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Charlie Joe Jackson is a young man with morals, scruples and a relentless determination NOT to read. He's a smart cookie. Smart enough to know where the lines in the sand are. He's worked out the rules to pretty much everything. How to keep the teachers happy, how to keep his parents happy, how to keep his friends happy, and most importantly, how to never read a book.

He reminds me of my 14 year old son. Which is why I read the book. I have to say, though, that I laughed out loud so often as I read the book, that my older son, 19, has stolen my Kindle, to read it. This is a great book. There is no hidden agenda to get anyone reading against their will (apparently) and there is an acknowledgement that reading isn't everyone's 'cup of tea' (you have to read the book). It confronts some pretty good topics, in a kind of slick 'don't look too hard or you might actually be thinking' kind of way.

Charlie Joe admits the adults in his life are human, and some of them are pretty cool. There's no generation war, just a battle of the wits. He's not about to argue, just to find another way...

There's a great little plot twist at the end, but from my point of view, the best thing about this book is that it is NOT preachy. Charlie Joe does not (sorry - slight plot spoiler) become converted to reading, but he does end up doing something pretty amazing.

Finally, I just love the irony of this book, and that's how I'm going to sell it to my ever so ironic middle school English class. You have to READ it...or maybe I could find the audio book...[book:Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading|9564947]
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Format: Hardcover
The unreliable narrator. It's a staple of adult literature, and a relative newcomer to the world of children's lit. Even books for teens are more likely to sport these first person ne'er-do-wells than titles for the 9-12 set. It can be done mind you, but it's tricky territory, made all the trickier if the narrator is always being on the up and up with the reader. I think the closest you can usually get to an honest-to-goodness unreliable character is something like Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading. With a title that baffles child readers even as it intrigues them, author Tommy Greenwald conjures up a charming, befuddled hero who's steadfast refusal to pick up and enjoy a book leads him to illogical extremes and the ultimate punishment.

Let's be clear. Charlie Joe Jackson is a charming guy. If you met him you'd probably like him. Lots of people do, and why not? This is a kid who has figured out what it is he wants out of life and goes for it. Take reading. Charlie hates it. Couldn't dislike it more. So over the years he and his friend Timmy have set up a nice little arrangement. Timmy will read books for Charlie if in exchange he can get free ice cream sandwiches. Everything's going beautifully until the day Timmy destroys Charlie's sweet scheme. Caught, Charlie finds himself facing a huge school project with a ton of reading on the horizon. He has a plan to get out of it, but it hinges on setting up the girl of his dreams with the class nerd. Can Charlie keep himself from reading from here on in? And do we even want him to?

It hadn't occurred to me until I presented this book to a reading group I run for kids, but Charlie Joe Jackson may qualify as a notebook novel.
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