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Summary: Summer is here, and Manolito (10) is ready to tell us all about it. You'd think that with everyone going away for the summer, life in Carabanchal would be boring. Not quite. From unintended adventures at the pool with Grandpa Nicolas and dinner with the traitor Big Ears, to helping The Bozo (his little brother) adjust to Kindergarten. Manolito shares them all. This is a first-person story about the events and people in the life of a 10-year-old boy.
Type of Reading: independent reading, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 10 to 12; read yourself: 10 and Up
Interest Level: 10 to 13
Reading Level: 5.5
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is the first Manolito Four-Eyes book I've read, and it will probably be the last. Name calling (disguised as nicknames) was a bit over the top; and the humor was stereotypical, cliche, and flat. I found myself wondering who the audience was. It has a Wimpy Kid feel to it that would grab reluctant readers. The word density on the page, combined with the vocabulary [place names like Carabanchal, Carcagente] and long tangents would frustrate those readers. The tangents make it difficult to use as a read-aloud book.
Pros: Readers looking for "physical humor" and a character with a strong voice will enjoy spending some time with Manolito.
Cons: In telling his life story, Manolito jumps off the track and goes off on long tangents. This could be frustrating to some readers. None of the characters has positive attributes associated with their nickname. The book is listed for ages 8 to 12; it may be too mature for 8-year-olds.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a book that, even if enjoyed, isn't likely to go on your permanent home library shelf.
Educational Themes: This is a book that could be used as an example of short story and journal writing.
Notes: The publicist representing the author donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub® for review consideration because we provide an independent, unbiased profiles. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - family, friendship, humor, coming of age, middle grade series, school
Date(s) Reviewed: August 2014
Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews at barnesandnoble.com; and reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com.