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Just Grace (The Just Grace Series) Hardcover – April 23, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews
Book 1 of 12 in the Just Grace Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–4—Just Grace starts with a list of missed opportunities and finishes with the rich possibility of a new friend. In between, third-grader Grace Stewart sends postcards to her next-door neighbor (purporting to be from Crinkles, the neighbor's own cat), draws comics of Not-So-Super ("but still good") superheroes, plays detective with her best friend when Crinkles goes missing, tries to avoid the odious Sammy Stringer, and establishes herself as a true original in a class with not one, but four, Graces. The narrative voice is strong throughout and the story reads like one-part diary, one-part testimonial. The text is interspersed with the child's illustrations and postcards, which nicely divide the story into episodes, as opposed to chapters. A strong cast of supporting characters shares her world. Since Grace claims to have a teeny-tiny superpower ("I can always tell when someone is unhappy, even if that person is pretending to be happy and is a really good actor"), her relationships with these people, and her ability to read them correctly, take on greater significance as the story advances. Grace is a funny, mischievous protagonist who should easily find a place in the pantheon of precocious third graders. Fans of Amber Brown, Clementine, and Judy Moody will love her.—Kara Schaff Dean, Needham Public Library, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Grace (whose harried teacher nicknames her Just Grace to distinguish her from the three other Graces in class) deals with the usual trials and tribulations of third grade in this hilarious first chapter book. In addition to the usual indignities (being spit on at your birthday party; missing the talent show because of the stomach flu), Grace must deal with feelings about her intimidating next-door neighbor, Mrs. Luther, whose walls are decorated with scary masks and who seems fond of Grace's nemesis, disgusting Sammy Stringer. Grace loves Mrs. Luther's cat, Crinkles, though, and when it goes missing she determines to find it, even if that means temporarily joining forces with Sammy. The kids come alive in the story, and Harper, the author of several previous books, including the graphic novel Fashion Kitty (2005), enhances the comical goings-on with sparkling cartoon sketches. Equally delightful is the wry voice of energetic Just Grace, who never misses an opportunity to point out the injustices life has dealt her. She's a hero through and through. Give this to fans of Ann Nagda's Meow Means Mischief (2003) or anyone looking for a funny book. Kay Weisman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 1060L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Just Grace Series (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; English Language edition (April 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618646426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618646425
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,974,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Campbell on August 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
I cannot do justice describing the charms of Just Grace. My 9 year old niece was reading it last summer and I picked it up to see what it was like. My children are 3 and 5 and adore Charise's books and I wanted to see what her "big kid" books had to offer. I was instantly charmed by Grace and had to finish the book. It is very funny and the story keeps you interested to very end. I love that a book geared toward 9-12 year old girls has a heroine whose super power is empathy. Grace is kind and feels for others, but is a realistic regular girl who knows to do the right thing, even if she would rather not sometimes. My 5 year old is a reader and she just read the book and cannot wait to move on to the others. It is such a nice change of pace for books in this demographic. My daughters love Junie B. Jones, but my husband gets exhausted correcting the grammar as he goes, as he cannot bear to read them as written. No such problems with the Just Grace series.
These are lovely, funny, charming books that should be in every book lover's collection.
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Format: Hardcover
Just Grace is a fun and funny book about a girl named Grace. She gets her nickname because there are four girls in her class all named Grace. As the teacher was calling them "Grace (insert last initial here)", Grace asked if she could be called just Grace. So the teacher did.

Grace's super power is empathy. When I read this, I just knew I'd love this story. Grace has also got talent. When she tries to take her mind off of something that's bothering her, she draws what she calls Not-So-Super comics. Although you always kind of know that Grace's intentions are good, she does end up making mistakes and getting in some scrapes.

Grace ends up being an unlikely hero (just like the name of her favorite TV show 'Unlikely Heroes'). She devises a plan to cheer up her neighbor because her superpower, after all, is empathy. When none of it goes as expected, Grace works hard to set everything right.

I enjoyed Just Grace immensely. The story was well told. The illustrations were wonderful and whimsical too. Great book!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my Grace, who is 5, and just starting to love chapter books. We didn't get more than 5-10 pages into the book before she said "Just Grace was too snotty and wasn't very nice." While the story seemed promising we could not get passed the sarcastic almost mean spirited attitude of the main character. While I think some of these feelings and attitude are true to life,I didn't think my girl needed to have this snarky attitude introduced in her home life as well. I am a Mom who thinks Junie B. Jones and Ivy and Bean are pretty good but pushing the envelope for being "too sassy." If Junie doesn't bug you then Just Grace might be alright.
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Format: Paperback
As a family, we were first introduced to the Just Grace series with the fifth book. My daughter is six and has been brought up with tons of books, so she is now becoming more interested in chapter books with deeper story lines. When we hit upon a truly worthy work of children's literature, it's like magic. The two books of the Just Grace series that we have read thus far certainly fit that framework. I'm so enamored of them that I went out and bought the other three books for my daughter. We now have the complete series, and my husband and I look as forward to reading these at bedtime story time as my daughter does.

This book introduces us to the character of Grace, who has the unfortunate problem of sharing her name with three other girls in her class. A misunderstanding leads to her being labeled "Just Grace" and, much to her dismay, this moniker sticks. Harper really does a wonderful job here of capturing how annoyed and bothered Grace is by this--and who wouldn't be? The nickname makes Grace sound like some run-of-the-mill girl when she is anything but.

One of the wonderful things that Harper does in this series is to introduce some pretty big vocabulary words. Whenever she does so, she had Grace provide the reader with an explanation that sounds so sincere, it's hard not to smile. Grace picks these words up from her parents and defines them in this context, which makes us adults sound a little pompous at times.

In fact, the real charm of the series is how Grace pokes some fun at adults. She's not a disrespectful child at all, but my husband and I could recognize so much of ourselves in Grace's descriptions of adults. It's good for us all to stop and remember what it was like to be young and to look at the world through a young person's eyes.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Just Grace' is anything but, she is an intelligent, willful, funny young girl. She has set about to record her thoughts and life. What she says is what most young people think, they just don't verbalized their thoughts. She is not at all snotty as described by another reviewer. She is a real little girl who feels free to express herself, she does not feel she needs to inhibit her thoughts.

Grace is one of four Graces in her grade. It would seem that unless the was the only class in her grade that someone made a big mistake in putting four young girls in the same class named Grace. However, the teacher tries to handle this so all the a Graces will feel respected. There is some resentment, but they soon get over it. Grace goes on to tell us about some funny and some humbling episodes in her life. The first part of the book is about what may have gone wrong, but the second part of the book is about what goes right in her life. A new friend can make a world of difference, and that is what happens with Grace.

The storyline is very appropriate, and so well written. The illustrations are vivid and depict the adventures of Just Grace. A lively, funny, warm story for all.

Recommended. prisrob 08-08-14
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