About 6 weeks ago I had posted to my facebook page asking friends had anyone heard of or read any books in this series “My weird school daze.”
Not many of my friends (teachers or parents) had read the series but some had heard of it. I have a 5 year old boy who is way beyond picture books and not able to fully read chapter books on his own, but chapter books hold his attention when read to him and he usually will recognize many of the words.
The series caught my interest because the narrator of the book is a young boy of color with a diverse variety of friends in the second grade when the series starts.
I don’t know what 2nd grade or 3rd grade humor is because my child is not there yet and that’s not the grade I teach but the humor in the book is pretty funny but “mature” in my opinion for a 5 year old. The main character whose name is Arlo but goes by AJ complains a lot about school makes fun of his classmates in particular the girls Andrea and Emily and makes jokes that I think are 3rd grade like jokes but that I find a little bit above my 5 year old’s head. For example in one of the books a pregnant teacher faints at graduation and another teacher goes to give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and the boys all shriek “Eewwwwww! Mr so-and-so is kissing Mrs so-and-so.” My son was confused about what mouth to mouth resuscitation meant and why the boys thought one teacher was kissing another teacher. Meanwhile my husband and I are laughing hysterically!
We are on book 3 of the first 10 books of the series which we bought at my son’s Book Fair. The humor that he understands he finds very funny. I find myself having to do a lot of explaining to him and sometimes it is quite challenging explaining 3rd grade jokes to a 5 year old.
So far the series is enjoyable and we get to discuss a lot of things such as: school really isn’t that bad, girls are as good as boys, you should respect your teachers, etc to counter the behavior & thoughts of the characters in the book. My son looks forward to reading it so we will continue to read it I just have to be prepared to do some explaining and countering.
My nephew who is in 3rd grade is also reading the series for himself so probably the book is most appropriate for 2nd and 3rd graders and not so much for kindergarten or first graders who are transitioning to chapter books. Maybe the Mercy Watson series remains one of the most appropriate for kindergarten and first graders. My son found the Tree house series which lots of people love, scary!
My humble mother of a precocious 5 y.o. who loves book opinion.