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|Jake the fake keeps it real|
Author: Robinson, Craig
Book 1: Having faked his way into the Music and Art Academy, a performing arts school for gifted students where his talented older sister rules, sixth-grader Jake, a jokester who can barely play an instrument, will have to think of something quick before the last laugh is on him.
Jake The Fake, 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 188346
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.60
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 75717
Kirkus Reviews (12/15/16)
School Library Journal (01/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/02/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2017 Gr 3–6—Jake is starting sixth grade at the Music and Art Academy (M&AA). He's nervous not just because he's at a new school but also because his sister is an incredibly talented senior there and Jake might have gotten in by accident: he faked playing the piano and singing an original song. His struggles to fit in with the "weird and artsy" kids at his new school make up the bulk of the plot until the end-of-the-semester talent show is announced and Jake can't think of something to do. He eventually finds his real talent right onstage. Accompanied by comic strip—style art, this tale of middle school woes from Robinson (of The Office fame) and Mansbach (Go the Fuck to Sleep) hits a few humorous notes and more than a few flats. Notably, Jake's jokes sometimes rely on ableism (for example, he describes a piano piece as being so easy that "a guy with only two fingers could do it," further commenting, "That guy's nickname would be Peace Sign."). More disturbing, a whole segment follows the class on a field trip to the local mall, where they are assigned to go on a "vision quest" to find their "consumer spirit item" after an earlier reference to "a mummified Madagascar Monkey Porpoise," which serves as the teacher's former spirit animal. This type of flippant allusion to "spirit animals/items" perpetuates and affirms dangerous stereotypes about Native American cultures. VERDICT While fans of Dav Pilkey's "Captain Underpants" and Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" might enjoy some of the humor, the cultural insensitivities make this title a pass.—Brittany Drehobl, Eisenhower Public Library District, IL - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 01/01/2017 Jake’s sure he doesn’t belong at Music and Arts Academy. He squeaked through his piano audition with some tips from his perfect sister, but music’s not his strong suit, and now he’s waiting for the day his teachers discover he’s really a fraud. But while he’s busy completing bizarre assignments (like a book report on a book that doesn’t exist) and doing his best flight under the radar by fitting in with the weird crowd, he’s also discovering a new talent: comedy. Robinson and Mansbach amp up the laughs in this wry novel, especially when readers get glimpses of some of African American Jake’s assignments (made even more uproarious by Knight’s caricature-like spot illustrations). There’s a solid message here, but it fittingly takes a backseat to the over-the-top school antics, which are made even more outlandish in Jake’s straight-faced, first-person narrative. With comical characters, relatable stakes, and an unobtrusive kernel of a lesson about creativity at its heart, this series starter will likely find an easy audience among middle-schoolers, especially Wimpy Kid fans. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.