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Diary of a 5th Grade Outlaw #1

Diary of a 5th Grade Outlaw

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Robin Loxley, the 5th grade outlaw of Nottingham Elementary, tells all! From Epic! Originals comes a comic-inspired illustrated novel series that treats growing up as an adventure.

Fifth grade has just started, and the school bully, Nadia, already rules recess with an unfair Playground Tax. Robin refuses to be pushed around, but all she can think about is winning back her best friend, Mary Ann, after a disastrous fallout over the summer. To do so, she will have to stand up to Nadia, face the wrath of Assistant Principal Johnson, and become a legendary outlaw at Nottingham Elementary—all while forming a merry band of new friends along the way.

240 pages, Paperback

Published September 8, 2020

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About the author

Gina Loveless

11 books21 followers
It was five years after Gina Loveless earned an MFA from California Institute of the Arts that she realized her mission as an author was to write books that helped all the weird kids of the world feel less alone. When she’s not writing or reading, Gina can be found in Eastern PA, boogying at concerts with her husband, tending to their awesome produce garden, or snuggling with her rescue dog Gerdie.

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5 stars
53 (46%)
4 stars
33 (29%)
3 stars
18 (15%)
2 stars
7 (6%)
1 star
2 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews
Profile Image for sukhmanjot hans.
87 reviews
July 25, 2019
this is the story of robin loxley, the best basketball player of Nottingham Elementary. the fifth grade had just just started and the school bully, Nadia claim unfair playground taxes from children and so she plans to expose Nadia with help of some of her friends and will she exceed? read this book to know more

talking about the book, this book was really so cute and the illustrations were so pretty. I give this to my cousin sister as she is 9 yrs old and loves to read story books. she finds it so fascinating and she enjoyed it a lot. this book is an easy and quick read and the concept and storyline is amazing for middle grade students.
Profile Image for Darla.
3,148 reviews446 followers
September 13, 2019
A clever and captivating tale that rises above the simple illustrations. Robin and her struggles with Nadia the bully will capture your heart. Her quirky band of friends were faithful and loyal as Robin Hood's Merry Men. Allana and Dale were always ready to provide a situation-appropriate rap. I don't expect them to be cutting any albums soon, though. Of course, Robin feels best wearing her hood and makes a new friend in Little Joan on the basketball court.

A shout out to Andrews McMeel (beloved local publisher) and NetGalley for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jill.
1,051 reviews4 followers
September 11, 2019
In the halls of Nottingham Elementary there is a fifth grader named Robin Loxley. She is a lover of all things basketball and a believer in fairness. So when playground bully Nadia starts charging kids to play on the playground equipment, Robin wants to step in and do something.

Nadia takes Bonus Bucks as her playground tax. Bonus Bucks are rewards that students at Nottingham can earn by getting good grades, helping out in the classroom, or getting caught by a teacher doing something nice for someone else. Robin has been saving hers for a long time. She is hoping to buy the best birthday present ever for her best friend Mary Ann, who’s been angry with her because Robin couldn’t make it to Mary Ann’s ballet recital.

Robin has her eyes set on a special prize: President for a Day. It costs 300 Bonus Bucks, and she is up to 297. With less than a week to go, Robin has to figure out how to get 3 more bucks. But when Nadia raises her playground tax, Robin can’t help but step in. Putting her hood up and confronting the bully, Robin knows she has to do something.

However, her attempt to balance the scales ends up with her in detention and all the Bonus Bucks getting suspended. Now Robin has to figure out how to how to fix everything so that she can win back Mary Ann’s friendship and Nadia and her gang no longer take advantage of the other kids on the playground, and the clock is ticking. Can Robin and her friends shoot a bulls-eye on this challenge?

Diary of a 5th Grade Outlaw is a charming retelling of the Robin Hood legend for kids. Gina Loveless wrote a fun, energetic story with clever Easter eggs from the original story, and illustrator Andrea Bell adds lots of dynamic drawings to fill out the story. This is a great introduction to the story of Robin Hood as well as a smart way to teach kids about standing up to bullies and doing the right thing for its own sake. Lively, spirited, and easy to read!

Galleys for Diary of a 5th Grade Outlaw were provided by Andrews McMeel Publishing through NetGalley, with many thanks.
5,877 reviews64 followers
July 25, 2019
This is quite a clever young read; the large and easy font makes it look like a volume for reluctant readers, but the spirit, drive and inventiveness of it should appeal elsewhere. Robin Loxley is a young basketball nut, who has a goal – get enough credit notes in school to give the-girl-who-was-her-BFF-but-isn't-any-more the prize reward of principal for the day. The only thing is that there is a nemesis for her – and pretty much everyone else in school, who is taxing every break time in any way they can, to get a uselessly large amount of the notes. Can this Robin, together with her new friend Little Joan, steal from the rich to give to the poor, and can she get to regain the company of her Maid Marian – I mean, her friend, Mary Ann?

Yes, the book is actually very good at riffing off the Robin Hood legend – she wears a hoodie in this one, but there are many other instances of it cropping up. You never see two friends called Dale and Allana mentioned in that order, for one thing. The book isn't perfect for a couple of reasons, one of them being those two last characters allegedly rapping everything they say all the time, and some silly extended joke about food metaphors, but on the whole this is very much on the ball. You're forced into siding with Robin, but even knowing this was rather manipulative was not a hindrance to enjoying it. The illustrations aren't too common (though are suitably comic book-styled when they appear) allowing the sense of achievement of reading a much more fulfilling volume than, say, the average "Wimpy Kid". It's doesn't belabour its diary format, either, reading instead just like a routine prose narrative. A strong four stars for this series opener.
Profile Image for Michele Jennifer.
121 reviews5 followers
August 28, 2019
The Nitty-Gritty:
My brother and I watched the old Disney Robin Hood (the one with the fox) on a loop on VHS when we were little. The whole "rob the rich to feed the poor" concept really appealed to little Michele, who was always making sure that everything was fair and who would get really upset if people were breaking the rules. (Wow, she sounds like a fun time, eh?) This book was a great throwback to the original material.

Kids have a really strong sense of justice, and I think that this story really appeals to that. Robin is an enjoyable narrator (a really hungry one, too!), and readers will want to take up arms alongside her.

My one issue is that the story reinforces the idea that if you tell the adults in your life about your bullies, they will only make it worse. I understand why Assistant Principal Johnson was set up as an antagonist, both in this specific plot, and as the Prince John character; it just unfortunately reinforces a harmful idea.

The Verdict:
I would highly recommend this story to lovers of Robin Hood in grades 2-4.
Profile Image for Jen .
2,457 reviews28 followers
September 6, 2019
My thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.

This book, for some reason, just didn't work for me. I wasn't fond of the MC's voice and the storyline seemed a tad off to me. I recognize that this was a modern day retelling of Robin Hood and I thought that the concept was clever, but it didn't do much for me.

Not a bad book, but only 2 stars because two means "it was ok" and three means "I liked it", but I just didn't, so 2 stars it is. More 2.5, with the half star going towards me knowing it's not the book, it's me. I won't hesitate to recommend it at the store to a customer who would enjoy it, I just wasn't that person.

Disclaimer: This was a DNF for me, I got to page 73 and just couldn't read further. It wasn't bad or offensive, I can see where it would grab a young/middle reader. I did skip a bit further into the book, but what I saw didn't grab me.

2, it's me not the book, stars.
970 reviews15 followers
September 3, 2019
This is a good children's story about standing up for what's right, even for outlaws. The characters are very good and the story is easy to read. The comic panels won't win many prizes, but they fit the story very well.
July 31, 2019
This book is a great book about friendships, bullying, school and it is told with a great sense of humor. I highly recommend it!!
Profile Image for Cherlynn | cherreading.
1,451 reviews733 followers
April 18, 2021
My favourite line in the whole book:

"You're toast," Ty said.

I ignored his insult.

I also felt hungry for toast.
Profile Image for Shayla Raquel.
Author 17 books133 followers
October 14, 2020
Be still, my heart.

Robin Loxley is super good at basketball (jealous!) and plays with her new friend LJ at Nottingham Elementary. But here’s the deal: the school bully, Nadia, makes all the kids pay her a playground tax. Y’all should know by now how much I loathe taxes!

LJ and Robin team up to stop the school bully and her insane taxes, becoming the heroines of their school after a BIG basketball tournament.

I am a HUGE fan of Robin Hood, so seeing Gina Loveless put a new spin on the story set in 5th grade made me smile so big.

The illustrations are vivid and engaging, and the story is a must for middle grade readers.

5 big fat awesome stars!
Profile Image for Ona Shepherd.
6 reviews
April 9, 2020
Diary of a 5th grade outlaw was an interesting book. I think this because it’s about this girl who loses her bff and does a bunch of crazy things to get her back. But there are some bad things about this book number one you can only find this series of book on the app epic. Number two there are only two chapters in a book so you have to read the whole series to get the full story. Even though there are some bad things about this book I would still strongly recommend this book!📚📖📘📗📙📕📰🗞
Profile Image for Steff Fox.
1,183 reviews149 followers
April 25, 2020
| Reader Fox Blog |

Diary of a 5th Grade Outlaw by Gina Loveless and illustrated by Andrea Bell was actually an incredibly cute Robin Hood retelling. I've always been a huge fan of our favorite green hooded outlaw and so it comes as no surprise that I felt an instant need to read this one when I saw it. Robin Loxley in this one is a young girl who loves basketball and has noticed a serious problem with the playground tax the school bully, Nadia, has put to steal everyone's bonus bucks--a prize system the school uses. She's got a lot of work cut out for her if she's going to tackle the injustice, especially with Principal Roberta gone and Vice Principal Johnson out to get rid of their bucks altogether.

Above all else, the one thing that I love most about this story is how cleverly it adapts all the favorite things you love about Robin Hood into the story of a young girl in fifth grade. From Little Joan, Mary Ann, and Nadia (Little John, Marian, and the Sheriff of Nottingham respectively) to the clever representation of King Richard and Prince John with the principals, this story has references you'll absolutely adore if you're a fan of Robin Hood in the first place.

And I think ultimately it was those references that really endeared me to the story overall. It's pretty simple as far as plots go; there's a bully and a conflict and a main character to work slowly through it both the right and wrong ways. Eventually, everything is resolved and Robin is the best at a sport that enables her to win fairness for the rest of her peers. Diary of a 5th Grade Outlaw isn't overly complicated or one of the most amazing stories I've ever read, but it was definitely fun.

The writing level was a little lower than what I would consider appropriate for a fifth-grader, rather I would be more inclined to give this to a third or fourth-grade student. Still, I don't see that as an immense problem, especially considering what I do for work. I understand that there are plenty of children out there who might be in 5th grade but struggle to access reading at that level. All in all, I'm quite fond of this rather clever and adorable Robin Hood modernized retelling.

I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for J.L. Slipak.
Author 3 books26 followers
November 17, 2019

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Can we say Robin Hood re-telling?

This book addresses issues like friendship, facing fears and dealing with bullying. Fitting in is also covered. I love the MC, she is fearless, brazen, flawed and fun!

I also got a “Harriet the Spy” vibe while reading this. The two MCs seemed cut from the same cloth.

There’s a problem at Robin’s school with a school bully and Robin and her merry gang of umm kids, need to find a way of defeating her and saving the day, or school year. The accompanying illustrations are big, bold and bright, just like Robin’s personality.

This book is excellent for school libraries everywhere and relatable for kids in grade five, or ages seven to ten. For anyone who’s faced a bully, this book would offer an inspiration to be brave and face fears. Also, there’s a lot about basketball in the book along with themes to do with friendship, regrets and dealing with poor choices.

This is a great book full of fun written first-person in diary format, accompanied by beautiful illustrations and large print. It is a great easy reader and should be in all school libraries.
Profile Image for Heather.
90 reviews2 followers
December 27, 2019
Diary of a 5th Grade Outlaw is a clever modern-day version of Robin Hood. It's the story of Robin, a basketball-loving kid, who just wants the playground bully to stop charging a tax on fun. It's a story of friendship, forgiveness, and redemption that kids will enjoy (and I also appreciate as an adult!)
Profile Image for Jane.
967 reviews9 followers
August 4, 2019
A cute book that revolves around a fifth-grader named Robin. The story follows her adventures in school. Fun characters. Would recommend.

Thank you to Gina Loveless, NetGalley, and the publisher for an ARC of this book.
1,957 reviews23 followers
March 25, 2021
A really clever start to a new younger mid-grade series.

* I really liked all the Robin Hood reimaginings. Some were very, very clever.
* It's a great transition book - above leveled readers, but not full-on serious chapter books yet. The font's nice and big and clear. There's lots of illustrations that definitely support the story, but it's not a graphic novel either. A good one to recommend for the middle-to-upper elementary reader crowd, something when they've powered through all the Wimpy Kid books.
* The illustrations are pretty fun, too. Bright and simply drawn, emphasizing the idea that this is her diary.
* Some good topics touched on -Robin's family is dealing with serious health problems (her dad), there are bullying and friendship and clique issues brought up. And of course, the basic question in Robin Hood stories, doing something wrong for the right reasons. Some good potential topics to talk about.

* I wish there'd been a bit more on the friendship with Mary Ann. Maybe we'll get more on them in subsequent books?
* I wish there'd been a bit more closure with Nadia too. But the Sheriff was an ongoing antagonist in the original stories, so maybe we'll see more of that in later books too? Ooh, or maybe even a redemption story arc! We'll have to see!
* I wasn't always fond of Robin as a narrator. I know she's trying to find her voice, find her friend again, figure out how to speak up for something she sees is wrong. But sometimes she seemed a little ... I dunno, rude? Still, an imperfect character can be a very relatable one - realistic doesn't always mean likeable.
* Some of the running jokes ran a little long (at least for me). Like her constant distraction with food, or her mentioning her hood about every other scene. We get it - she's the Robin Hood character. But then, I'm a little older than the target audience, so younger readers might not get as impatient.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this and have already picked up book 2. I'm looking forward to seeing where it will go as a series and would definitely recommend it to kids in my library.
1 review
November 10, 2020
To be honest, this book was AMAZING! I have never read a book better than this one. Just some advice from me, if you ever want to read this book for free, go to the website called "epic books." If you are in a classroom in epic books, just search up "Diary of a fifth grade outlaw." They have the whole collection. If you are not in a classroom and signed in, you can make your own account! Keep up the good work Gina and Andrea! :)
Profile Image for Stacy.
48 reviews3 followers
April 29, 2021
Robin Loxley is the friend we all want on our side. She's basketball and food-obsessed. She's fierce, determined, loyal - and flawed. She leads from her heart, and learns from her mistakes. She's an excellent role model for middle grade readers and they'll enjoy the adventures and messes she gets into with her friends.
1 review
January 23, 2022
This was a super cute book, this is a story about Robin Loxley. She gets a diary on her first day of school and she writes in it about her days and illustrates pictures of the story she is telling. She is good at basketball and challenges the guys in her grade, She talks about how the year goes and the friends she makes. Overall a good chapter book for a young age.
Profile Image for Ashley Sosa.
15 reviews
March 15, 2020
Diary of a 5th grade outlaw #1 by Gina Loveless is about a 5th grade girl and the book is her diary and talking about a small moment that matter in 5th grade. I record this book to 5th to 6th grade because they would understand the wording and the experience
76 reviews
June 8, 2020
I received this book for my 9 year old son and he devoured it. He said he really enjoyed it and it is difficult to find books he will read. Thank you #netgalley for an ARC.
Profile Image for Sam Wedelich.
Author 7 books12 followers
February 15, 2020
A fun and funny retelling of Robin Hood!

I thought this book was funny and clever. The characters were cute and the drama that unfolds felt both realistic and fantastical (in a good way) for middle school kids.

I think this is a great option for reluctant readers/kids who gravitate toward graphic novels, but who are looking to expand to chapter books.

Give it a go!
Profile Image for Barbara.
12.9k reviews264 followers
September 15, 2019
First of all, I love the names used in this book--Nottingham Elementary for the school and Robin Loxley for the protagonist. Those conjure up images of Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest in my mind, aided by the illustrations and text depicting Robin in her ever-present green hoodie. Robin has started fifth grade with a lot of worries. She's somehow offended her best friend, Mary Ann, and hopes to give her the best birthday present of all, courtesy of her Bonus Bucks. But when she and her new friend, LJ, threaten the power of class bully Nadia, who lords over everyone on the playground and charges a tax to use the equipment, trouble begins to brew. Before she knows it, Robin is in outlaw mode, stealing Nadia's ill-gotten gains and leading a revolt. Things go from bad to worse when she and the assistant principal don't see eye to eye on certain matters. It's a good thing Robin still has a couple of friends and some pretty mad basketball skills. Readers shouldn't be worried about the size of the book. The font is large, and the action is plentiful as Robin reports on her efforts to achieve her goals and win back the heart of her friend. Many fourth and fifth grade readers will easily relate to her situation.
Profile Image for Christina.
171 reviews4 followers
September 26, 2019
Clever and cute, DIARY OF A 5TH GRADE OUTLAW by Gina Loveless introduces readers to a young, hooded crusader Robin Loxley, a student at Nottingham Elementary. In this delightful retelling of Robin Hood, you’ll read of the adventures of the sharp-shooter basketball star as she tries to win back her best friend through a noble cause—stopping the unnecessary tax collection of “bonus bucks” on the playground by Nadia the bully. Robin is resilient and relatable with a witty voice who makes some mistakes along the way. Her insatiable appetite (I feel you Robin!) makes for some of the best, comical lines...she had me at marinara! Readers familiar with Robin Hood will find the references amusing and fun, but those who aren’t will still absolutely enjoy this heroic story of friendship and standing up for what is right. With large text and charming illustrations by Andrea Bell, this book is full of great characters and enticing humor for young readers and fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries alike. Make room on your shelf for DIARY OF A 5TH GRADE OUTLAW and its second book coming April of next year to follow Robin’s legendary quest for justice...and double chocolate fudge ice cream!
Profile Image for Jill Jemmett.
1,657 reviews22 followers
December 10, 2019
This story is a retelling of Robin Hood, in a middle school setting.

A lot of the elements in the story were exaggerated to reinforce the story of Robin Hood. The main character was a girl named Robin who was literally wearing a hoodie all the time. The school had a currency that students could earn when they did well on assignments. However, a mean girl named Nadia ended up creating a playground tax so she could steal everyone’s money. It was a silly way of giving Robin a way to “steal” from the bully to give the students their money back.

There was a lot of bullying in this story. Nadia was a girl who picked on Robin and stole from other students. Even the staff bullied kids. I don’t know how they wouldn’t have noticed what was happening on the playground. There was too much bullying without enough redemption at the end.

Thank you Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
476 reviews40 followers
December 4, 2019
Diary of a 5th Grade Outlaw is a revamp of the Robin Hood story. While it is a middle-grade book, older readers who know the original Robin Hood story will enjoy all of the sneaky mentions of the original.

My biggest issue with the book was the lack of character development. Most of the characters were one dimensional and were difficult to relate to.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Gina Loveless
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date: 10 Sep 2019
Profile Image for Jennifer Muller.
277 reviews18 followers
September 7, 2019
I  received a free digital copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

This is a modern day telling of Robin Hood. I can see why this would appeal to kids. I thought it would be in diary format since it's in the title. The prologue is in diary format but drops it.

Having read younger books that didn't read as young, I was a little disappointed that this book definitely read as young. Not a bad book. I'd give it 3 stars.
Profile Image for Andréa.
11.2k reviews94 followers
Want to read
April 14, 2021
Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
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