Chris's Reviews > Niagara Falls, Or Does It?

Niagara Falls, Or Does It? by Henry Winkler
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's review
Jul 22, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: boy-book, realistic-fiction, humor

Fourth-grade underachiever Hank claims he wants to do the right thing, but somehow he always messes up. Take the assignment Hank's teacher doles out on the first day of school: write a five-paragraph essay, "What I did on my summer vacation." Since writing is hard for him, Hank creates a visual presentation on his visit to Niagara Falls instead--and winds up flooding the classroom. Some of the characters are stereotypes, such as buffoonish Principal Love and Hank's overly strict teacher, Ms. Adolf, but others, including Hank, are believable and sympathetic. When the school's music teacher befriends Hank while supervising his detention, he begins to suspect that Hank has a learning problem and suggests that he be tested. There is a subplot about Hank and his friends putting on a magic show for Hank’s grandfather’s (Papa Pete) bowling league. At 133 pages this is a quick and amusing read, and something that would definitely appeal to boys. Best for 3/4/5 graders?

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