When I received my review copy of Nate Rocks the World from author Karen Pokras Toz, I was a little worried. From the book’s description and cover I expected either a graphic novel or a chapter book with illustrations. However, the cover is the only illustration to be found. My 8 year old son is big into graphic novels and often snubs his nose at any book without pictures, so I was skeptical he’d be interested. I put it in the book basket near his reading area, and there it sat for a few months. But then one day recently, I saw him reading it. When asked if he liked it, he gave me a distracted “yes” and kept on reading. A few nights later he’d finished the book. The following conversation then took place:
Me: So did you like Nate Rocks the World?
Him: Yes! He has these really cool daydreams.
Me: You didn’t mind that it didn’t have pictures?
Him: No, the descriptions were really detailed so it didn’t need pictures.
Me: Would pictures have made the book better?
Him: No. It didn’t need pictures.
Nathan Rockledge is just trying to get through fourth grade. His older sister is a pain, he has to pretend to enjoy his mom’s cooking, and his dad tells the same stories from the past. But every time Nathan puts pencil to paper, his imagination lets loose and he imagines himself saving the day in all kinds of situations, using some pretty creative solutions. He saves the neighbor’s Saint Bernard from a fire, delivers the toys on Christmas when Santa gets hurt, saves the earth from a meteor, and other exciting adventures. Middle grade fiction is not a genre I normally read, but I couldn’t put Nate Rocks the World down. I completely agreed with Alex that the book didn’t need pictures, in fact I think they would have detracted from the whole idea of using your imagination.
Nate Rocks the World is aimed at kids in the 9-12 range, but I think younger readers would also enjoy this book and identify with Nathan as he deals with his family, school and his friends.
Nancy rarely comes across books that both she and Alex enjoy. She writes about her 2 boys, books and life in Colorado at Life With My Boys and Books.