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Minn and Jake
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Minn and Jake

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  98 ratings  ·  15 reviews
A surprising friendship

Do you ever feel like you’ve somehow lost your true best friend? Minn feels this way. So does Jake. But Minn and Jake have no intention of being friends. Minn’s a string bean. Jake’s a shrimp. Minn’s a girl. Jake’s a boy. And in fifth grade, who wants a best friend of the opposite sex? But Minn and Jake are forced together by circumstances, which onl
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published August 12th 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Amanda (Born Bookish)
This is a young-readers novel told in free verse. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the free verse format to fit with this story at all. There was nothing poetic about it, the lines didn’t flow together, or paint a beautiful picture with words like most verse novels do.

Not only did I not like the format of the story, but I didn’t much care for the story itself. Going into it I thought it was going to be this sweet story of new friendship, but it turned out to be an awkward story about two kids who ca
Wong, J. (2008). Minn and Jake’s almost terrible summer. New York, New York: Francis Foster Books.

Jake is the main character in this prose narrative. He’s a middle school-aged boy and his best friend is Minn, a girl. The thing is that Jake hasn’t been keeping in touch with her since school got out for summer (not returning phone calls and such). When they do meet up again, they run into some bumpy moments. When they go out to eat at a restaurant, Jake tells Minn that he’s a quarter Korean, and M
Wong, Janet S. 2003. (Paperback 2008). Minn and Jake.

"The story of losing--and finding--a true best friend."

Minn and Jake is a verse novel with tween protagonists. (Minn and Jake are fifth graders.) When the novel opens, Minn is having a rough time. She's feeling "extra lizardy and alone." She feels betrayed, in a way, by her former "true best friend" Sabina. Our first poem tells us,

Minn is feeling very empty,
and very tall,
and very odd,
and very pigtailed,
and very lizardy,
and very much alone.

Published August 12th 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Interest Level: 5th-7th Grade

This is a great book of poetry that explores themes of friendship, family, urban, and rural lifestyles. It is unclear what the ethnic origins are of the characters besides the drawings, but overall, this is a good example of including interracial characters in believable, non-invasive means. The sequel focuses more on Jake's interracial background and Minn's ethnic background. The illustrations are simple black a
RLL520_ColeenDuPuy Dupuy
Minn and Jake is the sweet story of a young boy and girl who both feel like outsiders in their schools. Minn is unusually tall while Jake is unusually short. They create a special friendship in which their differences don't matter.This book is also unusual since it focuses on the friendship between a boy and girl, rather than two girls or two boys. One of my favorite parts of this story is how the story is written using poetry. This makes for a quick read and it always makes it a little easier f ...more
I liked this book quite a lot. I generally tend to enjoy the verse format for novels. I think it can make a reluctant reader feel accomplished as it tends to read more quickly than a standard novel.

As for the story itself, I really enjoyed these two friends and the how they came to understand each other after getting off on the wrong foot (several times!). I also liked that Wong addressed in her story that these two are at a crossroads in terms of how friendships between boys and girls work.
Great friendship novel in free verse about a fifth grade desert girl who loves lizards and a "new-in-town" city boy who doesn't. An unlikely pair who share adventures in the Gulch and the Screep (doesn't that sound just wonderfully free-wheeling, unlike so many of today's kids' suburban adventures?) while they grow to be less lonely and more confident among their peers.

For ages 7-10.
After seeing Janet Wong at the iYouth Conference, I picked up this book and read it rather quickly. It's a very cute children's story/poem about best friends, worms, and lizard catching. The illustrations are also pretty charming--they remind me a bit of Quentin Blake's.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Cute story of two mismatched children (one too tall, the other too short) who become friends, written in verse format.
I'd like to have seen it a bit longer, with some parts fleshed out more. I like Janet Wong's poems, and hope she writes more novels in verse.
Heather Ledet
A book in poetry form, what genius! This is a great story about a girl and a boy, neither whom fit in very well, and how they become best friends.
Apparently I will another soon that is a book in poetry form: Love That Dog.
I thought it was okay. I is a really small book and it got boring in parts.
I should have read this book when I was like seven years old.
This book was okay but i felt likt it was 4 like a 3rd gradr.
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Janet S. Wong was born in Los Angeles, and grew up in Southern and Northern California. As part of her undergraduate program at UCLA, she spent her junior year in France, studying art history at the Université de Bordeaux. When she returned from France, Janet founded the UCLA Immigrant Children's Art Project, a program focused on teaching refugee children to express themselves through art.

After gr
More about Janet S. Wong...
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