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Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading (Charlie Joe Jackson #1)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  2,484 ratings  ·  411 reviews
Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he's managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he's in middle school, avoiding reading isn't as easy as it used to be. And when his friend Timmy McGibney decides that he's tired of covering for him, Charlie Joe finds himself resorting to despe ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by Roaring Brook Press (first published 2011)
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Tommy Greenwald
Dec 04, 2013 Tommy Greenwald rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote it, therefore I love it.
Kim Tomsic
CHARLIE JOE JACKSON’S GUIDE TO NOT READING by Tommy Greenwald (Roaring Brook Press/July 2011 ) for middle grade readers is about Charlie Joe, a reluctant reader, whose cool-dude reputation is centered around the fact that he’s never read an entire book from cover to cover.

An advanced copy of CHARLIE JOE JACKSON’S GUIDE TO NOT READING arrived in my mailbox along with a towering pile of vacation mail. As I scattered bills and letters across the kitchen counter, I realized I couldn’t start a new b
I won this is a Goodreads First Read. Yay!

As a middle school teacher, I found this book funny and appealing. There are times when Charlie's comments sound a bit too much like the comments of an adult who is a good kid-watcher, but overall his voice is well done. I gave it three stars instead of four for a reason that won't apply to most people. Over 50% of my kids are Latino, and like the excellent "Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie" this book is so entrenched in white, middle class culture that m
Deb Tyo
Chapter 1

"If you're reading this book, you don't like reading.

In fact, you do whatever you can to avoid reading, and the fact that you're holding a book in your hand right now is kind of shocking.

I know exactly how you feel; I'm one of you.

Just remember: you are not alone. We'll get through this together."

In Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading, Tommy Greenwald creates a character who is very honest with readers. Charlie Joe tells us that this book serves two purposes: "One, it will s
Jul 10, 2012 Lindsey rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: middle-schoolers, fans of Big Nate, grownups who hate diary-of-a-wimpy-kid
Shelves: reviewed
Charlie Joe Jackson is an avid non-reader. He has never read a book cover to cover, and he's proud of it. (Except for The Giving Tree. Which has, like, sixty-two words in it.) This book will inspire all reluctant readers in their efforts to avoid the written word, and give helpful tips on how to do it.

The great thing about this book is that it will satisfy both the middle-school reader and his/her parents, which is a thing wondrous and rare. On the one hand, Charlie is actually a nice, funny, "g
Tommy Greenwald’s new book Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to NOT Reading is a perfect book for the non-reader or reluctant reader in your life! Charlie Joe has made it all the way to Middle School without ever, EVER, reading a book cover to cover. It hasn’t been easy, but he has come up with an arrangement that has carried him this far successfully… until now. When his teachers discover what he’s been up to, will Charlie Joe be able to keep up his track record?
In this hilarious book, Charlie Joe sp
Tina Lowen
I'm conflicted about my rating for this title. It isn't quite a four for me, nor is it really a three. I'd give it three and half stars if I could. I'm clearly not the intended audience for this book, which I'm sure is impacting my score.

I enjoyed the book's humor and found myself liking Charlie Joe, despite his willingness to go to incredible lengths to avoid reading a book. I have to applaud the author for a few things which are difficult to find in books for young people these days: Charlie J
Colby Sharp
I struggle with bokos that are focused on kids being slackers and not like reading. Diary of a Wimpy Kid is not my favorite (Is that a nice enough way of saying that I dislike it very much?). Recently, I read the James Patterson book "Middle School: The Worst Years of my Life" and it kind of falls into the same category of "Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to not Reading". I am sure that these books can do a decent job of getting reluctant boys to read, but at times I wonder if they do more damage th ...more
The unreliable narrator. It's a staple of adult literature, and a relative newcomer to the world of children’s lit. Even books for teens are more likely to sport these first person ne’er-do-wells than titles for the 9-12 set. It can be done mind you, but it’s tricky territory, made all the trickier if the narrator is always being on the up and up with the reader. I think the closest you can usually get to an honest-to-goodness unreliable character is something like Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to ...more
Jorge T
This book would be a good choice for kids who want a guide on how to not read. It is mainly about the main Character Charlie who has never read a book in his life. One day when one of his boo reports is due his friend timmy who always reads the books for Chalie and gives him the answers refused to give him the answers. And he does not know what to do next. If you want to find out what happens next read this book and find out. This is a really good book. READ THIS BOOK
Josh Jackson
Great read for reluctant readers in the cross-over range, fifth grade to seventh. Charlie Joe would rather do anything than read - even setting up his crush with his best friend. This book has good humor and lots of short chapters, perfect for many middle-aged boys. The journal style is easy to read and has a Diary of a Wimpy Kid feel.
Charlie Joe Jackson REALLY hates to read. For twelve glorious years he has managed to avoid it almost completely (exception: Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree" because it only has 62 words). But middle school is proving difficult ground to manipulate his way around the written word. It doesn't help that his best book-reading buddy has begun to blackmail him, and now there are girls to pay
attention to too. But Charlie Joe comes up with a daring master plan that almost works. This is a quick and
Penny Peck
If a sixth grader liked DIARY OF A WIMPY KID an wanted another book that was similar, I would recommend CHARLIE JOE. It doesn't contain as many cartoon drawings, but it is funny, thoughtful, and original. Even some of the teachers are nice! There are some cartoons, and the premise of the book, about a boy who avoids reading, is believable. He is smart and can read, but doesn't think books are cool. Lots of funny lists are included, which add interest. Some nonstereotypical girl characters make t ...more
I didn't think I'd like this book, but I had to read it so I could lead a book club on it. Even two or three chapters in, I thought it was going to be just another smart-ass wimpy kid knock off that underestimates the brainpower of juvenile readers and assumes that the class of kids now known as "reluctant readers" will only pick up shallow swill. (Ahem...let me climb down from my accidental soap box now...)

And mostly it was.

The End.

Addendum: The avid upper elementary readers in the book club li
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Andrew Schultz
Charlie Joe Jackson, surprisingly, doesn't like to read. I had different reasons for not reading as much as I could back in my teens and before. They're less cheerful than Charlie's, and I want to bring this up mainly because I think this book strikes the right tone for pushing aside reasons not to read. In fact, this book actually got me back to reading when I was in a rut. So it works for adults, too!

Charlie is obviously not stupid, and he's very observant, but he certainly has trouble facing
Lu Benke
There's a freshness to this story I just couldn't resist and I think many a kid will feel the same. I came across the title while looking for another book on reluctant readers and my curiosity was piqued. Now that I have a much better sense of the research behind what motivates kids to read and what gets in the way it is a lot of fun to read Greenwald's creative and authentic account of a very cagey, very reluctant reader and recognize the factors that get in the way. In fact, as I sat in a trai ...more
"Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading" by Tommy Greenwald is a a book about Charlie Joe Jackson who wanted to get through all of MS without reading a single book. He did this by giving his friend Timmy and Ice-Cream Sandwich and in return Timmy would tell him what the book is about. His plan was perfect until someone ratted him out. So he has to start to start reading, but since he hate's reading he finds another way around this. In the end he manages to go through till the end of the year ...more
Karen Arendt
Absolutely perfect! Any non-reader would love this book, and I love that the author was inspired to write it because his children don't like to read. I can't wait to put it into the hands of students!
The story: Charlie Joe Jackson is determined to finish middle school with a perfect record of never having read a book. He has a sweet arrangement with his buddy Jake—Charlie Joe buys the ice cream, and Jake does the reading and summarizing. Even though he’s bright, and no one else can figure out what the deal is, Charlie Joe is committed to NOT reading. Until...the lies and excuses start catching up with him, and he finally gets outed: in the middle of the school dance! Even worse, the girl he’ ...more
Jamie Axelrod
I usually do not like books like this. Reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid was like swallowing cough medicine. But ... this book was awesome! It will appeal to the same kinds of students who enjoyed reading books like Wimpy Kid and Big Nate, but it is also appeal to more sophisticated readers due to its clever playfulness. Charlie Joe is truly witty! The book is just fun, and even in its denouncement of reading it does offer some good ideas/strategies for those who would rather do anything but read. Wh ...more
Neville Ridley-smith
There's a bunch of inventive stuff being done with kids books. It's like the Indie game scene. People are trying all sorts of stuff, partially to differentiate themselves but I think mostly because it's fun. (Even well known authors are trying their hands at kid-lit.) Thus you get things like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Hugo Cabret that play with the format of a book.

This is one such book. Being about reading and books, it's all rather meta. It has that certain kind of directness that a diary has -
i read this book for all those middle school boys who come in to the library because they have a book to read and all they care about is the page count. this book was written for them. it may not have been the best written, most original story, but it was still written for them. despite the fact that i found it in need of a few more drafts, i could still see it appealing to boys, between the cover, the main character and the plot. and for those kids, it probably does it's job.

maybe i shouldn't
Sep 23, 2011 Kaethe marked it as abandoned
Shelves: age-middle-grade
I love the idea, but must admit that it didn't hold my interest very long. Obviously, I am so not the target audience.
Alright I lied. I read the first quarter and the last quarter.
Too listy and the premise didn't work for me.
Lisa Nagel
I thought this was very funny and clever...but I just can't get past the whole I got other people to read and do my work, and let's talk about the throwing balls at friends in the you know where...all of these things we teachers try so hard to keep our kiddos from doing. Still...fact is, it happens, and this is a funny book kids will love. Not sure they will actually get that Charlie is pretty smart, creative, and knows a good person when he sees them. I just wish he could find that book to make ...more
Charlie Joe Jackson comes up with some wacky and creative ways to get out of reading every assignment...and those tactics get him into a lot of hot water. Most of the time, his friends had his back, but when teachers and parents are on to him, they give him a choice that is utterly devastating, that is, read 10 books over the summer and report on them or write a book.

And, that my friends, is how Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading gets published. HA! I wonder how he'll get out of reading
I have to say that I wasn't overly thrilled to be reading this book as it appeared to be a "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" wannabe, without as many pictures (Which in a book titled "Not Reading" I found rather interesting). But the surprising thing was I enjoyed this book much more than most of the Wimpy Kid series. I think maybe it is because those books have become really repetitive, and James Patterson stepped in for awhile with his twist on first person middle school stress, but those became boring p ...more
Charlie Joe Jackson is smart, but he hates reading. He gets by with the help of a friend in a read-books-for-ice-cream scheme until his friend doesn't want to do it anymore. Charlie needs to write a term paper, so he convinces a nerdy, book-loving friend to read books on cliques in exchange for getting a popular girl to go out with him.

Charlie Joe is an okay character, but he's only really defined by his lack of reading. He is trying out for the lacrosse team, but we don't know if he's a total
Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide (the name struck me as weird, at first--"Charlie Joe"?--then I noticed in the bio that the author's sons are named Charlie, Joe, and Jack) is funny (even witty), smart, and well-written. The tone is just right and the observations are keen; as I read, not one sentence felt like a false step to me. Some examples:

"You know that drop of sweat that suddenly appears on your forehead when you get nervous? And then it slowly trickles down your cheek, like a tear your brain
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TOMMY GREENWALD has enjoyed reading all his life, which is why he's appalled that his kids Charlie, Joe and Jack, would prefer getting a dental check-up to checking out a book. After years of pleading, threatening, and bribing, Tommy finally decided the only way to get his kids to read was to write a book about how to get out of reading. This is the result. And they read it! (So they say.) The Exe ...more
More about Tommy Greenwald...
Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Extra Credit (Charlie Joe Jackson, #2) Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Summer Vacation (Charlie Joe Jackson, #3) Jack Strong Takes a Stand Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Making Money Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading (Charlie Joe Jackson, #1)

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“One of my book-reading friends used the term "our story unfolds" when describing a paper he was writing. He became somewhat less of a friend right at that moment.” 6 likes
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