Time for another look at an Easy Reader Series, the Level 2 Easy reader adaptations of the My Weird School books. I’ll be honest–I haven’t read the chapter books, or the graphic novels, so I don’t know if these are adaptations of those same stories, of just the world, new characters, etc. Regardless, there are 4 of the easy readers so far, and that seemed a manageable amount to discuss, so here we go!
This is a light-hearted, full of exaggeration sport story. Our narrator is Ryan, who loves sports, and wants to join a curling team, so he invites one friend, but not the other because the two friends are always arguing. They practice curling and the audience gets to learn, and then of course they win the big match where the left-out friend joins in to save the day. The full-page (mostly) illustration style is very cartoonish and features the signature oversized heads, but I think it’s got a fair bit of humor, and kind of love that it introduced such a unique sport.
My Weird School Goes to the Museum
This was an okay one–our narrator is Andrea, who is a teacher’s pet and in gifted and talented, and for some reason just she and AJ end up going to a museum, and she looks “immature” in front of the curator, who only hears her trying to correct/shush AJ. Ultimately, AJ steps in and her reputation in maintained, and while I liked the minor art elements–a piece of circles, a nude statue, etc–I think it got too lost in the pre-museum story and didn’t feel as focused as I wanted. Also why just the two of them?!? Because they’re the only two in the class? but no teacher goes? Illogical.
Talent Show Mix-Up
While I like the premise of this–the traditional, what will I do for the talent show thing—I didn’t love the language used by AJ, the class clown, to describe the girls doing their talents. I get that he likes to make fun of them, but “Andrea’s act was lame” and a “snoozefest” and “Then Andrea’s crybaby friend Emily twirled a baton” just didn’t sit well with me, especially because the only other talent shown–from a boy–didn’t get such criticism.
Class Pet Mess!
This is another classic school story–the class gets a pet, a snake–and chaos ensues. For some reason, they then get to bring their own pets in to school as well (insert: a skunk) and then learn about the snake’s defense mechanism. This is fun–Alexia is our narrator—but nothing special.
Overall, I can see why kids enjoy these chapter books, but I think the translation to easy readers feels a bit sloppy. These aren’t ones I’m going to be recommending heavily anytime soon, but would be good for kids who see older siblings reading the chapter books.
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