The Best of Iggy by Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sam Ricks

Published by G. P. Putnam’s Books for Young Readers

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Summary:  When you’re in fourth grade, there are three kinds of trouble to be had: 1. things we wish we hadn’t done, but actually just wish we hadn’t gotten in trouble for, 2. things we wish we hadn’t done quite as much as we did, and 3. things we really, completely wish we hadn’t done.  Readers get an illustration of each of these from Iggy.  Iggy’s not a bad kid; he just doesn’t always think about consequences, like that skateboarding off a shed onto a trampoline or racing desks toward the teacher when her back is turned might not be great ideas. The term “extenuating circumstances” is introduced, with some examples of when they do and don’t exist in each of Iggy’s escapades.  The final episode, which Iggy regrets deeply, teaches him a few lessons, but even he is wise enough to see that he will sometimes forget those lessons in the future. 144 pages; grades 2-5.

Pros:  With short chapters, lots of humor, and plenty of illustrations, this is sure to engage both reluctant and enthusiastic readers.  Some may feel Iggy should be a bit more contrite about his actions, but he seemed just right for a 9-year-old boy.

Cons:  It’s a pretty short book, and dividing it into three separate episodes didn’t allow for much character development.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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