Rachel Vail is the author of children's books including Sometimes I'm Bombaloo and Righty and Lefty, in which she also collaborated with artist Matthew Cordell. She is also the author of several books for teens and middle grade readers, including If We Kiss, You Maybe, Gorgeous, Wonder, and Never Mind, which she wrote with Avi. Vail attended Georgetown University, where she earned her B.A. in English and Theater. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons. Matthew Cordell is author and illustrator of Trouble Gum. He has also illustrated books including Mighty Casey by James Preller and Toby and the Snowflakes, written by his wife, Julie Halpern. He lives outside of Chicago.
Gr 2-4-Fewer illustrations and a more traditional look make this title more challenging, especially as Justin is only in the third grade. However, the pitch-perfect tone of his diary as he makes his way nervously through the school year, its humor, and the generous white space on each page will draw in younger readers. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"This honest and heartfelt look at elementary school is illustrated with occasional doodles that perfectly suit the book and audience." --Kidsville News "Justin Case, the new novel by Rachel Vail, might well be subtitled the wit and wisdom of a third-grade worrywart. By turns droll, sardonic, ironic, and even sophisticated, it chronicles the daily tribulations of life in the third-grade as told by its eponymous hero, who in the course of his school year discovers there is no heroism unless there is fear. And fear Justin has a-plenty, be it of his new dog Qwerty, his new teacher, sports, math, friends, jiggly Jell-O--or whatever--a lot comes his way, real and imagined. The writing is sharp, unpredictably clever, and establishes third-grade as a mine-field of the absurd--which is to say, real life." --Avi, Newbery Medalist "Vail employs easy, direct language in a rhythm and syntax that captures the essence of a charming, lovable and very believable boy. Readers transitioning to longer fiction will groan, sympathize and laugh out loud in delight. Absolutely marvelous." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review