Dan Rogers's Reviews > Nate Rocks the World

Nate Rocks the World by Karen Pokras Toz
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Jan 08, 2012

really liked it
Read in January, 2012

Nathan Rockledge is a 10 year old fourth grader who lives with his parents and older sister Abby in an average town in the United States. In this book Nate encounters the typical experiences of a fourth grader including having to put up with a very annoying older sister who treats him like he is the worst thing that could happen to her. Some of Nate's school experiences include having to work on a school project with a girl who he can't stand, daydreaming in class and getting caught at it, and having a mother who means well but by doing some of the things that she does, makes his life even more embarrassing than ever. Nate would prefer to just draw, read, see the latest Captain Asteroid movie, and hang out with his friends Tommy and Sam. Unfortunately, life isn't as simple as that.

There were so many events in this book that I was able to connect to that I feel like the author studied my life before writing the book. Like Nate, I also had no athletic ability when I was in school and therefore was always the last one chosen for pick up games at recess, if I even got picked at all. Nate's mom doesn't see the sense in spending money to purchase something that she can easily make like Halloween costumes and Valentine's Day cards. Although my mom wasn't that bad, I could certainly connect with how Nate felt whenever he had to take them out in public. The humiliation is almost more than one can bear. I was also able to connect with Nate's feelings towards his sister Abby who treats him the same way his classmates do. Although my older sister was not that bad, we weren't the best of friends either as we went through those growing years.. So, what's a guy to do? Daydream, that's what. In his daydreams Nathan Rockledge becomes Nate Rock, Superhero, always there to save the day.

This book was such an enjoyable read because the author has made all of the characters so realistic and believable. As I read I found myself really liking Nate and Tommy and disliking Abby. I also liked Nate's Dad as he seems like a pretty good guy who, although a bit clueless (I think he has forgotten what it was like when he was Nate's age), really seems to understand how hard it is for a boy growing up. His mom, although likable, strikes me as a typical girl who either didn't have troubles as she grew up or doesn't care and thinks that kids should just "get over it." Either way, I'm sure glad that she wasn't my Mom. I highly recommend this book to boys in the 9-12 years age range. I'm not sure if girls would enjoy it or not but I certainly wouldn't discourage them from reading it. Even if they can't relate, maybe they'll learn something about what boys go through as they struggle to fit in in the upper elementary school grades. The book was easy to read with short chapters which lend themselves to being read in short spurts if necessary. All this being said, there is one thing I didn't care for in the book and that was the way that it ended. I feel like the ending was rather abrupt rather than being worked to a well rounded ending. I look forward to reading the further adventures of Nate Rocks as they come out.
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