Lumberjackula by Mat Heagerty, illustrated by Sam Owen

Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Summary:  Jack’s ready to pick a secondary school, but he’s torn between following in his lumberjack mom’s bootsteps or choosing the eerier path of his vampire dad.  He tries out both of their alma maters, but neither feels like a great fit.  When he accidentally stumbles upon a school for dancers, it seems perfect for his talents, but he’s afraid he’ll disappoint his parents.  Finally, a wise teenage manatee rescues Jack from a near-drowning and gives him some good advice about being himself.  He finally gets up the courage to tell his parents what he wants, and they proudly cheer him on to become a great dancer.  152 pages; grades 3-6.

Pros:  Elementary kids will happily snap up this quirky graphic novel with lots of fun characters and a good “be yourself” message.

Cons:  There wasn’t a lot of suspense since it was pretty evident early on what Jack’s decision was going to be.

2 thoughts on “Lumberjackula by Mat Heagerty, illustrated by Sam Owen

  1. Hi Janet,

    Will you be creating a new unit for the 2023 Mock Caldecott? I am preparing for my year in the library and was thinking about buying last year’s, unless you plan to prepare a new one for 2023. I really appreciate the contributions you make to my library by writing such succinct, helpful reviews!

    Thanks for letting me know! My best, Meghan Rinehart


  2. Yes, I have started working on it! I’m also hoping to offer something similar for the Newbery and Coretta Scott King awards. They should be on Teachers Pay Teachers in early to mid December.


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