Friday, September 7, 2012

CHAPTER BOOK: About Average by Andrew Clements

About Average

Jordan longs to be special - distinguished in some way from her 6th grade peers. But so far, she's just average - average height, average grades, average face. And in the midst of her average anguish, a bully finds a list of Jordan's thoughts on her own average-ness and plans to use it to make Jordan's life miserable. What's an average girl to do?

This is the latest release from one of my favorite authors for kids, Andrew Clements - the author of Frindle and No Talking. Jordan will appeal to middle grade girls wondering where they fit. She's a nice, likable girl who tries to do the right thing, the smart thing, when it comes to her problems. I loved reading the way she processes what to do about her bully problem - what her options are and how an option might work or not work. Any adult would see Jordan's gifts, but they aren't the flashy, public ones Jordan thinks they should be to be valuable.

This is a pensive story - most of it takes place in Jordan's head. There's not a lot of "action" or dialogue in the story which may discourage some readers from giving it a try, which would be a shame, because this is a good story.

3.5 stars out of 5
No AR rating yet

Recommended for: classroom/library read-alouds might expose more readers to Jordan. There's plenty here for classroom discussion, too. This could also be a good one for parents to read with their kids (Jordan may appeal to girls more than boys, but the lessons work for any student) and talk about how Jordan deals with her bully problem and her feelings of average-ness.

Cautions: none

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