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Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters (Justin Case #1)

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3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,089 Ratings  ·  187 Reviews
It's the start of the school year, and nothing feels right to Justin. He didn't get the teacher he wanted, he's not in the same class as his best friend, and his little sister, Elizabeth, is starting kindergarten at his school. Elizabeth doesn't seem nervous at all. Justin is very nervous about third grade. And to top it off, he's lost his favorite stuffed animal, but he c ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by Square Fish (first published April 22nd 2010)
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Kim Zarins
Jan 16, 2013 Kim Zarins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m a big fan of Justin Case. I’m guessing the people who love these books best and long for more are the ones who know someone like Justin. Someone for whom life does not come easy, for whom soccer is exhausting on multiple levels, authority figures are objects of frightening power, parents are well-meaning but often don’t get it (Dad, let the kid drop soccer already!), and friendships are more complex than the hardest math problems. If you know someone like Justin, you’ll clutch this book clos ...more
Kelly
Aug 20, 2011 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters is the story of one boy’s year in third grade. Justin worries about everything, and I do mean everything. Will his new third grade teacher be nice or mean? Will he fail the third grade because he’s having trouble remembering what 8x3 equals? Where has his most favorite stuffed animal gone? Why does his dad seem to like torturing him by signing him up for soccer, baseball, and other potentially embarrassing sporting activities? Why is there so ...more
Angie
Aug 02, 2010 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really ... more like a four and a half. Justin is hilarious! I actually stopped and marked a couple lines. Hopefully you will think they are as funny as I do.

"If my costume for Halloween were "some other kind in my class,' I would wear it all the time for the rest of my life so that nobody would know I am me, the boy whose mother has to bring him his lunch and then kiss him in front of everybody." (38)

"It's just hard for me to convince myself to tray and keep the ball for myself when a kid comes
...more
The Rusty Key
Nov 08, 2010 The Rusty Key rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed by Rusty Key Writer: Jordan B. Nielsen

Recommended for: Particularly boys, aged 9 to 13, but the main character of this story is so relatable in his angst and turmoil that there is nothing to stop girls from loving and identifying with him just as much.

One Word Summary: Neurotic.


If Woody Allen or David Sedaris were to have kept a diary when they were in third grade, it undoubtedly would have read like ‘Justin Case’, a sharp, quirky, put-the-book-down-because-you’re-laughing-so-hard-you-c
...more
Andy
Apr 19, 2013 Andy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, I have such mixed feelings about this book. So many things to like, but one huge, glaring problem that I can't ignore. In a nutshell, Justin is totally diagnosable, on the spectrum for an anxiety disorder, or perhaps OCD. I kept waiting for this to be addressed, for some responsible adult in Justin's life to recognize the many, many red flags/cries for help (the scene where he loses it in class on pages 30-34 is pretty close to textbook, I'd say).

I waited in vain. Apparently, Justin is just
...more
Amy Carr
Jul 19, 2010 Amy Carr rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
They need a category for "didn't finish reading because it was a waste of time". My boys have LOVED the Diary of a Whimpy Kid series so when I saw this book in the same type of format about a third grade boy, I eagerly picked it up. It was a huge disappointment. The book is written in the first person but there is not one thing about the writing that even tries to pretend a third grade boy wrote this. The voice is terrible, his life is tragic that is is flat out depressing instead of funny, and ...more
Teresa
Jun 08, 2010 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was laughing out loud as Justin K., dubbed "Justin Case" by his classmates because he's afraid of everything, navigated the dangerous waters of third grade, with gym embarassments, shifting friendships, visiting relatives, warring or missing stuffed animals and a teacher named Ms. Termini (say it fast). This kid has a very real, smart voice, and an sense of the absurd that is spot on. His loving, though sometimes exasperating family help him get through his challenges, and his kindness and eve ...more
Jill
Jun 03, 2011 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Matt and Nicole
This was a very cute book, and it was fun to read!

Justin Case is the story of an anxiety-ridden third grader and his daily life. It definitely tries to be like Wimpy Kid, in that it's in a diary format, but it is totally not the same. This kid truly is wimpy. There was some really funny dry humor in the book that I enjoyed a lot.

Jim grabbed this off the shelf for me, and I'm glad he did. It was a nice little story, and Matt read it yesterday at the beach and liked it too!
Sandra
Jan 30, 2011 Sandra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I did end up really enjoying this book. I picked it up on my way out of the library off the table labeled Best Books of 2010. I thought it was great, though it sounded much more mature than what a third grader would think. But maybe Justin is a mature third grader.

I don't know. It was just one of those random weird picks that had me smiling. No more or less than that. Would I have named it one of the best books of 2010. Probably not. But, enjoyable nonetheless.
Phoebe
Nov 10, 2010 Phoebe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I suppose this is a book to hand to Wimpy Kid fans but does anyone else think that the narrator sounds much older than a third-grader? And in no way is this book at a third grade reading level, the font is tiny and the book is almost 250 pages long. My verdict is that this book is confused and so was the author. She should stick to YA fiction.
Nancy
Jun 22, 2011 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I agree with the other comments posted by our group about the "conflict" between the reading level (5.2)and the age of the main character (third grade) in Justin Case. If these were closer I would have given this book 4 stars. It is enjoyable and addresses real kid issues: school, worrying, friendship, etc. Kids will read this.
Angela Kidd Shinozaki
Hooray for Justin Case! Highly recommended. Great MG read for boys and girls. Anyone who has ever felt just the slightest bit nervous or shy. Remember, worry isn't the opposite of bravery.
FYI: I met the author, too. She's fabulous! Read her picture book, Piggy Bunny, as well. Is there anything she can't write?
Lorraine Stinson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debbie McNeil
Cute story kids will find a lot to identify with. Long, challenging reading level considering protagonist's age and maturity level.
Jenny
Aug 17, 2016 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book to use as a read aloud for the beginning of the year!
Heather
Jan 12, 2017 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some years ago my daughter picked up Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters by Rachel Vail as a reward for one of those summer reading things. It sat on the shelf until, for who knows what reason, she picked it up a few weeks ago and read it. She couldn’t put it down, even at school, where her friends laughed and told her their little 7 and 8 year old siblings had read the book. She didn’t care. She just loved the book so much even though she’s 14. Justin reminded her a lot of her ...more
Jessica
A 3-5 grade book clearly written by someone who knows kids and is from a kids point of view. I thought it amusing since I am a teacher

Example: He is not allowed to say hate.
"You know what I hate as much as slobber?
Times tables.
I mean I completely no thank you times tables>" pg 105.

"Gianni started screaming that he had found Witchie Poo....I ran away fast because I don't honestly care what kind of poo was on that stick; I still would prefer not to be touched with it." pg 157. (The illustation
...more
Katie Fitzgerald
Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters is the daily diary of a third-grade boy named Justin Krzeszewski (a name he says "looks like somebody fell asleep and their head rolled around on the computer keyboard") who has a lot of worries. He's not crazy about the idea of third grade to begin with, but things go from bad to worse when he is separated from his best friend (and second best friend) because of a mix-up with his class assignment, his beloved stuffed dog goes missing, his fa ...more
Kathy
Oct 23, 2016 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
I started out reading this book because it is a Bluestem Nominee (an Illinois award) and I wanted to book talk this to the elementary school kids I see in November. I ended up loving this book. I think a lot of kids in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade will be able to relate to Justin and see a little of him/herself in Justin.
Jonathan Aguado
I chose this book because I see on the cover that hes standing in front of everyone with the spotlight on him, that looked interesting because he seems nervous and like hes having a hard time.
In the book hes struggling with 3rd grade, he has no classes with his friends, and doesn't seem to like his teacher.
























































































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Sweet on Books
Feb 21, 2011 Sweet on Books rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reader-sr, melissa-g
Welcome to third grade. Teachers expect more and friendships change, not to mention the pressures of organized sports. It can be complicated for the average kid, but for a worrier like Justin, it can be downright stressful. “Okay, yes. I’m worried.” That’s the first line of the book, and it gives readers a pretty good indication of the pages to come. Justin worries about robbers, the boiler in the basement, math, cursive, a fire engine passing in the night, sleeping on the top bunk, sleeping on ...more
Holly
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Stella Ko
***I read this book for the summer assignment. ***
Since I’m on summer break, I decided to read books about school and student. At first, I didn’t know why I’ve chosen this book to read. I had other books that were about school and student, but now I know why I chose this book. Justin kept made me think back to my elementary school life. Actually, I enjoyed being a student when I was in Elementary. I loved to go to school rather than summer vacation. Dodgeball was the best sport to do whenever we
...more
Sarah W
Worry could be Justin Krzeszewski's first name, skipping right past the middle name stage. He worries about the start of school, which is pretty common. He worries about if he will have to sit behind his second best friend and then will not be able to see because his friend's hair is too big. He's also afraid his teacher will be a yeller and that she'll think boys shouldn't be friends with girls. Even with all his worries, he never imagines the thing that does end up happening the first day of s ...more
Oak Lawn Public Library - Youth Services
Lexile Level: 790L
Pages: 272

Summary: It’s the start of the school year for Justin and he’s in third grade. Justin is very nervous about third grade. He didn’t get the teacher he wanted and he’s not in the same class as his best friend. He is nervous about everything. His sister, Elizabeth, is starting kindergarten and she doesn’t appear to be nervous about anything. He loses his favorite stuffed animal and can’t really tell anyone because he thinks he’s too old to still have stuffed animals! Wi
...more
Pop Bop
Apr 11, 2015 Pop Bop rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Dead-On Deadpan Humor

I'm O.K. with antic humor books, and thinking man fart humor books, and bizarro quirky books - middle graders can roll with a lot and variety in reading is sort of the point.

But sometimes you want a thoughtful, deadpan narrator with great timing and a gee-whiz neurotic spin. I'm thinking young Woody Allen or Stephen Wright as third graders. In timing and pace I'm thinking young Dave Barry, or even Calvin Trillin or Nora Ephron. There is some very sly humor here, some fresh o
...more
Michael
Aug 14, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the same vein as the "Wimpy Kid" novels, "Justin Case" follows the school year exploits of Justin K during third grade.

The year doesn't start of well with his younger sister Elizabeth going into kindergarten and getting Justin's favorite teacher. Then Justin is moved from the class with the new, cute teacher Ms. Burns and his best friends into another one that has strict rules and where Justin doesn't know anyone.

In some ways, Justin reminds me of Greg from the "Wimpy Kid" novels, though Jus
...more
Emily
Dec 28, 2011 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aa-booktalk
LPLD 3rd realistic book talk
Do you remember, a long, long time ago, it was summer. Maybe we’ll never see summer again. Do you remember the school year about to start? You were about to be a brand new third grader. Were you nervous? Were you excited?
Justin was nervous. He’s the biggest worrier in the whole world, and before he starts third grade, he’s got a million things to worry about. He got the wrong teacher, his best friend is in a different class, and his little sister will be joining him
...more
Beth Nieman
Nov 04, 2011 Beth Nieman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 3rd-5th graders
This is a humorous, first-person account of Justin, a third-grader who has a lot of worries and really would just like to make it through the school year unnoticed and unscathed. He is thrust into the spotlight and must rise to the occasion when a kid named Xavier nominates Justin for class representative and he finds himself in the midst of a class election. He even has to give a speech--during which he talks about what a great representative his opponent would be.

I think students will relate t
...more
Laura
Justin Case is a champion worrier. In School, Droll, and Other Daily Disasters, Justin begins third grade and finds himself in the strict teacher's class without any of his friends. The school year includes ups and downs, and Justin learns to be a little bit braver and a little bit more of himself.

This series is often compared to Wimpy Kid, though I think it lacks the kid humor that makes that series so popular. It actually reminds me more of Alvin Ho: Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Proj
...more
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15952
Birth
I was born on July 25, 1966, in NEW YORK CITY, and grew up in New Rochelle, NY, with my mother, my father, and my younger brother Jon. (And down the street from my future husband, though of course I didn't know that until much later.)

Interests
Some details, I do know-I was very into reading and theater, so I read every book I could get my hands on (especially realistic fiction, either contempo
...more
More about Rachel Vail...

Other Books in the Series

Justin Case (3 books)
  • Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom (Justin Case, #2)
  • Rules, Tools, and Maybe a Bully (Justin Case, #3)

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