Thursday, February 04, 2016

Number One Kid

Number One Kid. Patricia Reilly Giff. 2010. 80 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Number One Kid is the first book in Patricia Reilly Giff's Zigzag Kids series. The books are loosely connected, I believe, by the fact that all the main characters attend the same school, Zelda A. Zigzag elementary school. But the books do not share main characters. This first book is narrated by Mitchell McCabe. Mitchell, for better or worse, tends to think of himself as a loser. He doesn't see himself at being particularly "good" at any one thing. Will participating in the after-school program help him change how he sees himself? It isn't like he has a choice in the matter--he has to attend the after-school program regardless. But the good news is, it turns out he actually likes the after school program.

If you're looking for good, strong, deep characterization, this series will probably prove disappointing. If you're looking for extremely light, but widely diverse characterization, you probably will find it satisfying enough. I have to be honest and say that I found the characterization to be very light, and, the plot very light as well. So it isn't that this is a plot-driven, action-driven read at the expense of characterization. What it does have in its favor perhaps is the fact that it is short and illustrated. Also the book does tend to focus on friendship and teamwork and getting along.  

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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