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|EllRay Jakes is not a chicken|
Author: Warner, Sally
Book 1: EllRay's father promises a family trip to Disneyland if EllRay can avoid trouble for a week, but dealing with the class bully is a real challenge.
EllRay Jakes, 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 143313
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 53384
Common Core Standards
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 2 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Kirkus Reviews (04/15/11)
School Library Journal (08/01/11)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (07/11)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2011 Lancelot Raymond Jakes is admittedly the smallest student in his third-grade class—even counting the girls. Trouble seems to find EllRay at school, even when he is trying his hardest to be good for his teacher. And he is certainly trying his hardest this week: if EllRay cannot behave, his father will cancel their upcoming trip to Disneyland. To make EllRay’s week even more difficult, he inexplicably finds himself involved in a “3-way boys’ war” with the two biggest, baddest boys in school, Stanley and Jared, who are intent on humiliating EllRay any way they can. The issue of bullying is addressed responsibly but without many of the tiresome buzzwords and trite approaches often used by adults who don’t fully appreciate the need to save face on the playground. Warner creates a humorous voice for EllRay, amplified by Harper’s winsome illustrations, that is sweet, authentic, and ideal for reluctant readers. Fans will be eager for the next installment in the series. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2011 EllRay is the smallest kid in his third-grade class, girls included, which has made him the target of bully Jared Matthews. However, EllRay’s habit of in-class disruption has led his father to promise a trip to Disneyland if EllRay can go an entire week without getting into any trouble at school. EllRay therefore decides it’s best to get through the “war” with Jared without any adult’s noticing and simply to suffer through the abuse. Warner has a lively voice and a sympathetic understanding of kid viewpoints; EllRay’s perspective on his school issues is sincerely presented, and his narration clearly details the unsettling feeling of being at the rough end of the bullying relationship (the book also addresses the possibility that Ellray’s minority status, as one of the class, few African Americans, is making him a target but accepts Ellray’s view that the problem is sheer kid-to-kid friction). The book’s treatment of the bullying issue, however, is dated and questionable: EllRay is essentially encouraged to hide the fact that he is being regularly bullied so as to win the much-desired reward, even to the point of resisting the demonstrated concern of several adults (“I don’t like lying to my dad, but in this case, it’s for his own good. Also, it’s for the good of Disneyland”). In a convenient and implausible ending, EllRay’s father invites Jared along on the outing and the two boys have a wonderful day together, despite the fact that the previous afternoon found them beating on each other. Harper’s monochromatic watercolor illustrations have a clever graphic sharpness and offer comic interpretations of textual moments; the facial expressions in particular add to the presentation of EllRay’s growing frustration. While this isn’t the most thoughtful exploration of bullying, EllRay is an appealing character whom readers may wish to follow in future outings. HM - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2011 Gr 2–4—EllRay Jakes is the smallest kid in his third-grade class and one of the few African Americans in his school. His most recent progress report says his behavior is in need of improvement, but, according to EllRay, it is only because he likes to make everyone laugh. His parents decide that if he can last a whole week without getting into trouble, they will take him to Disneyland. Should be easy, right? Unfortunately, EllRay is being picked on by two of his classmates, Jared and Stanley, and he does not know why. He is torn between standing up for himself and not attracting attention, which might jeopardize his trip. At the end of the long week, the child has had enough and decides to confront Jared. When the boys come to blows, EllRay discovers why Jared has been picking on him, and it turns out that he is not as innocent as he thought. His realization and a surprise playdate for the boys help to settle the feud. This easy chapter book is a spin-off of Warner's "Emma" series (Viking), told with similar tone, humor, and style. The author has a way of capturing moments with a perfect description. Harper's illustrations bring even more life to the already spunky characters. Reluctant readers will find the language engaging, and most children will find the story line amusing.—Kari Allen, National Writing Project, Plymouth State University, NH - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.