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Thunder Boy Jr.

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  4,277 ratings  ·  859 reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Sherman Alexie and Caldecott Honor winning Yuyi Morales comes a striking and beautifully illustrated picture book celebrating the special relationship between father and son.

Thunder Boy Jr. wants a normal that's all his own. Dad is known as big Thunder, but little thunder doesn't want to share a name. He wants a name that
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 10th 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,277 ratings  ·  859 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sherman Alexie is one of the authors here at the Bay Area Book Festival.
Today is second day...
"Thunder Boy Jr." is a child's book...perfect for 3 & 4 year old children.
It's an 'empowering' story. A father helps his son pick his own name. He doesn't want his father's name. Sherman Alexie is a master storyteller... takes readers on journey -giving respect to Native Americans. This book is filled with warmth - humor- and love. The illustrations capture the spirit with strength. You can't help but
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Well we can now add children's picture books to the seeming never ending list of things Mr. Sherman Alexie does very, very well.

The totally captivating Thunder Boy Jr. tells the thrilling story of the life of Thunder Boy Smith Jr. who is named after his father Thunder Boy Smith Sr. His mother Agnes and his sister Lillian have boring, grown up names and that's just not Thunder Boy Jr.'s speed.

But lately Thunder Boy Jr. has found himself yearning for a name that is just his.

He dreams of new names
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Timeless story with wonderful illustrations by Yuyi Morales.

This is a book everyone will love.

But on a personal note, I've been volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club for a year now and many of our kids (and staff) are Native American--Blackfeet, Kootenai, Crow Tribe, and more.

It's sweet to finally have a children's book that's beautifully representative. This fills a cultural void, satisfies a need in such a positive way.

It's a delight to read and share this book.
Dave Schaafsma
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Each year I and my family read and rate all the Goodreads picture book nominees. This one is nominated for 2016. I make a few comments and then add their separate ratings and a comment from each of them. There's 20 (15 first round and 5 new ones for the semi-final round) and this is the thirteenth being rated. My rating might be somewhat influenced by the family, naturally.

I liked the cool process Morales went through for the illustrations, very layered, but it wasn't so evident from the illust
So so so so good.

Thunder Boy, Jr. is a lovely story about a boy trying to figure himself out and distinguish himself from his father. The text is so full of love and wonder, and the illustrations are absolutely perfect.

Sometimes when fiction writers dip their toe into the world of picture books, you get way way way way too much text. That's a problem with so many picture books (jeez Louise, editors needed), but is particularly a concern with writers of longer works. Sherman Alexie has taken to
Misty Mount
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-little-guy
My son loved this book and decided he will now go by "Thunder Boy". I've had to call him that all evening and I'm wondering how long it will last! :) Great little story. ...more
Jillian Heise
Morales' gorgeous and lively illustrations serve as a beautiful emphasis for the message of Alexie's text, creating a story about a young boy wanting his own identity and to be his own person, but still being a part of his family and supported by his dad's love for him.

I see my students on these pages, most especially my favorite, with the male grass dancer regalia, and wish there were more chances for them to see themselves, and others to see them, in the pages of picture books.

I appreciate th
I loved the playfulness of this book. The illustrations are energetic and very child centered. The issue of names and how we feel about our own name is one that many children could likely understand. I think it will be popular with children. Debbie Reese has some concerns here that I do not want to ignore though: http://americanindiansinchildrenslite... and more here http://americanindiansinchildrenslite... I agree that an author's note may be helpful.

It's getting a lot of press coverage and I s
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I love the way the color in the illustrations builds vibrantly in the middle, at the height of the main character's imaginings.

A book about identity, finding it separately and in relation to a parent. And such a great parent, at that, one who pays attention and responds. Fantastic!
Michele Knott
Gorgeous book, I think it's my favorite illustrated book by Morales.
Alexie takes what could be a very big idea and brings it down to a level that even our young picture book readers can discuss - who I am. A book for all ages.
Jacqueline J
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: story-time
This one caused a riot of laughter at story time. Afterwards we made and decorated name tags with new nicknames the kids chose for themselves.
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I should start by admitting that I have a mildly unhealthy obsession with Sherman Alexie's work. Ever since I discovered his greatness in college, I can't get enough of him! So I broke one of my rules and pre-ordered this book. It surely didn't disappoint! His writing and Yuyi Morales' illustrations makes for a masterful text. As you can see from the flagged passage (a spread) below, the writing and illustrations pop, and readers will be captivated by the text. My two-year-old son loved reading ...more
Oh my stars what a fantastic pairing of author and illustrator. Yuyi adds so much energy to this story of a little boy who doesn't want to be a 'junior' - not that it was lacking in energy to begin with. Her colors and textures spark and shine, and she picks unexpected perspectives from which to look at a scene. I always like that about her work - suddenly we are watching the characters from the corner of the ceiling, like in a Hitchcock movie, the better to catch a facial expression or understa ...more
Joyce Yattoni
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
#bookaday I ❤️ the author Sherman Alexie. This is a great read to explore cultural identity. Perhaps a writing prompt? Where does your name come from?
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

Sherman Alexie’s name leaped out at me from across the room when I spotted this book by chance the other day. He writes powerful YA voices. Thunder Boy Jr. is his first picture book for kids. A book full of color and humor and warmth.

Thunder Boy Jr. is named after is dad. He loves his dad. BUT Jr. wants a name of his own—one that represents him. He’s determined to find a new name by thinking and brainstorming about his favorite things and adventures. I love the different ideas for names. Like…

Mississippi Library Commission
What do you get when two talented children's book creators meet? The joyful exuberance of Thunder Boy Jr., of course. Sherman Alexie's satisfying story of a little boy who wants a name of his very own explores Native American culture and family life. Yuyi Morales's delightful illustrations nearly leap from the page with their lifelike energy. This will make a great read aloud and we can imagine several fun self-naming activities for children to follow story time. ...more
Kathy Whitmore
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-authors
Favorite author, strong addition to "name" text set, love it. ...more
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Like author Sherman Alexie and Little Thunder, I too am a Jr. named after my father. Thunder Boy Jr. wants his own identity and does not know how to tell his father. Much of the book is his thinking of what else he could be called as he thinks about his life and what is most important to him. Happily, his father is very wise and knowing. Nicely illustrated by Yuyi Morales.
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My Review
Thunder Boy Jr. was a book I randomly found in the library while looking for books to check out for the littles. The one thing that caught my attention was the cover; there was something so beautiful about it. I was also excited to see that Yuyi Morales had illustrated Thunder Boy Jr. the kids and I had read a couple of Yuyi Morales books last year and really loved her books so we were excited to see her illustrations.

Thunder Boy JR. was a story that the Littles absolutely loved.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like that the mom and sister are different. They have their own identities and their own ways of expressing themselves. I don't see it as a less positive thing, just a different thing.

I love the page where the boy considers his parents, and thinks about the name "Star Boy." It's a very strong, passionate, book. The boy has so much personality, so many interests, so much courage... how can any of the names that he's considering be adequate? Yay Dad for figuring it out.

I would consider this a g
The Library Lady
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Thunder Boy Jr Smith is also known as Little Thunder, and either way, he doesn't like his name because he shares it with his dad. He wants a name of his own, and imagines all the names he might have. Luckily, Dad realizes how Little Thunder feels, and responds to it.

This book is a descendant of Ezra Jack Keats' immortal The Snowy Day, Alexie does here with a Native American child what Keats' book did with an African American child. This simply has a little boy being a little boy, and a family b
My favorite part of this book is the way in which the direct speech (in the form of a speech cloud) is incorporated in the text:

I also really like the idea that Thunder Boy Jr., who is named after his farther, wants a name of his own, "a name that celebrates something cool that [he]'ve done" (14):

However, it is not very clear (at least, not for me) why the main character deserves to be called (view spoiler), a new name eventually given by his dad.

Also, although I loved
Katt Hansen
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A story about wanting to be yourself. A boy who is named after his father, decides he doesn't like his name and wants to be called something that is unique to himself. The creative choices he comes up with will make you laugh, and to even think a little and consider what each name would mean to his life as he grows up. The solution at the end is perfect.

I loved the style of the artwork, and enjoyed the story itself immensely. Definitely recommended, especially for those kids who feel like they d
Lynn Plourde
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebook
Fun story of identity. Love the illustrations. I can see readers playing a name game--giving themselves other names based on their hobbies, interests, favorites.
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just wonderful. A book to hug.
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Award winning creative duo have written and illustrated a fantastic children’s book about self identity and family.
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After I finished this entertaining picture book, I realized a few of my other classmates read it as well. I can see why! This was about a boy who had the same nickname as his father and he is torn because he loves his dad, but he wants his own identity as well. He wants his own nickname. There are a bunch of different ones thrown out there in a comical way before he finally receives a very special new nickname! This is a book that i am sure many children with the same name as their fathers can r ...more
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What's in a name? Young Thunderboy Jr. feels that he needs a name that represents what he does and who he is, not who his father is. At times, he wants what he feels is a "normal name," not one that is shared with almost no one (sans his dad). Sherman tells the the story at the center of this young child's heart. The illustrations that Yuyi Morales renders are breathtaking and bold. A true companion to the story being told. I will be surprised if this one is not recognized by the Caldecott commi ...more
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've been looking forward to Thunder Boy Jr. for a while now. I even did something I rarely do; I bought it instead of checking it out from the library. (Lemuria Books is the best!) It was worth it, too. The story is one with which a lot of kids will identify. Who hasn't disliked their name at one point or other during their lives? Watching Thunder Boy Jr. dream up new names for himself was a pure delight. The illustrations catch the playful, energetic mood of the text and the little kids depict ...more
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
The narrator of this picture book, the eponymous Thunder Boy Jr., hates his name. He hates not having a separate identity from his Dad, who is Thunder Boy Sr. He thinks the name should reflect who he is, not his father's interests. He then lists his various interests and possible names but stresses he loves his Dad. Dad solves the problem by giving him another name. While I do have problems with people being Sr and Jr, for exactly the issues listed in this book, I think it was way overstated. Ho ...more
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Sherman J. Alexie, Jr., was born in October 1966. A Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, he grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, WA, about 50 miles northwest of Spokane, WA. Alexie has published 18 books to date.
Alexie is an award-winning and prolific author and occasional comedian. Much of his writing draws on his experiences as a modern Native American. Sherman's best known works in

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