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Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading
Square Fish/Raincoast Books
age 8-12
Written by Tommy Greenwald, illustrated by J.P. Coovert
240 pages

Synopsis from Raincoast Books:

Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he’s managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he’s in middle school, avoiding reading isn’t as easy as it used to be. And when his friend Timmy McGibney decides that he’s tired of covering for him, Charlie Joe finds himself resorting to desperate measures to keep his perfect record intact. Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald is the hilarious story of an avid non-reader and the extreme lengths to which he’ll go to get out of reading a book.

Who best to write a book for reluctant readers than a reluctant reader? Charlie Joe understands the pain reluctant readers go through and sets out to help others like himself. He promises short chapters making it easier to meet a parent’s chapter reading requirement. He shares tip pages throughout the book to help encourage reluctant readers on their pursuit of reading as little as possible, such as tips on choosing a book with a character you don’t care about or how sports can be just as educational as reading. The tips are actually quite amusing.

Young readers will be relieved to discover that Charlie Joe doesn’t succumb to the joy of reading at the end of the book as one might suppose. Sure, he gets caught but he’s already plotting a better way to avoid reading. The book isn’t about Charlie Joe loving to read; it’s about getting your reluctant reader into the book. Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading had my son hooked and he’s already looking forward to the next books: Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Extra Credit and Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Summer Vacation.

You can find a copy of Charlie Joe Jackton’s Guide to Not Reading by visiting your local bookstore or Raincoast Books. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations.

I have to thank Sterling Publishing for my review copy.

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