Justin Case – School, Drool and Other Daily Disasters by Rachel Vail & illustrated by Matthew Cordell

By Ben, 21 April 2019

IMG_4236Ben and I have just finished reading the first book in the Justin Case series, and we think it’s pretty good. Don’t just take my word for it.

B: Ugh, another book review?
M:  But you like this book!
B: OK, yeah, I do.
M: What is the book about?
B: It’s about Justin Case and what problems he has at school. Mostly school, but sometimes there are disasters at home.
M: What grade is Justin in?
B: He just started Grade 3 at the start of the book. It’s written in journal form, so he writes an entry every day.
M: Yes, it covers 179 days of school doesn’t it. Now, tell me a bit about Justin. What’s he like?
B: He’s very worried all the time, most of the time and he plays soccer, but doesn’t enjoy it because he’s not a very good player. He helps his dad at his sweet shop because his family has a sweet shop.
M: What about school?
B: His friends are not in the same class as him, they used to be in the same class but not now. And he has two people in his class whom he doesn’t like, Gianni Schicci and Xavier Schwartz. They sometimes are rough and violent.
M: Do you have friends like that?
B: Sometimes. (I frown) Actually, no. (I un-frown).
M: What are Justin’s big challenges at school during third grade?
B: He has a strict teacher, she gives out Superstars if they have good behaviour and the person with the most Superstars at the end of the month gets a prize. Justin stresses out because then he has to be on good behaviour at school.
M: What other things happen to Justin at school?
B: He does things that he shouldn’t have done, like he signs up for the school council but he didn’t really want to do it. His friend Daisy – who was his best friend in second grade and always sat with him at lunch and played with him – doesn’t want to hang out with him anymore. She started hanging out with different girls and every time at Halloween, they used to go trick or treating together, but in this book, they didn’t do that because she went to another party. And it was only for girls.
M: Is that kinda unfair? Sort of sexist?
B: Yes. If I had some girl people, I’d invite them to my party.
M: I’m glad to hear that. Why did you enjoy this book?
B: Because it was funny at some parts, and because he’s like me because he is in third grade, and we both have a sister (although his is younger).
M: What did you think of the drawings?
B: They were good because there was a lot of detail.
M: Do you know I had dinner once with Matthew Cordell? It was with a whole bunch of other people though.
B: (gasps)
M: Anyway, would you recommend this book to other kids your age? And if so, why?
B: Yeah, if people like humorous books, they will find this funny. People with dogs will also like it because there is a dog in it. We can’t tell the rest otherwise we will spoil it for people who read this book.
M: So we should stop now?
B: Yeah. Can I watch football on tv now?
M: Ask your dad.

For ages 8 and up.



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