bignatecoverLincoln Pierce knows how to draw bad hair.

Big Nate: Welcome to My World is a serialized anthology of the Big Nate weekly strips that originally ran between May and October of 2011. Presenting a series of self-contained four-panel strips in bound form can have its problems. Plot development takes a back seat to a laugh line on each page. Minor characters are known for specific gags and never grow or change. This Big Nate issue contains these flaws, and readers who are looking for a single story will be disappointed by a collection of unrelated episodes about grandparents’ day, attempting to turn a profit on a yard sale find, Nate’s attempts to win a friend’s girlfriend over, and his quest to earn a 100 on his history final.

While Nate is a clueless preteen, he is a vehicle of humor aimed towards adults. I don’t know how many twelve-year-olds out there find jokes about blood pressure, serving sizes, and senility funny. As adult readers, we are able to distance ourselves from Nate and laugh at him. I’m always amused as to how Nate, a sixth grader at P.S. 36, already has an aggressively receding hairline. The hair Nate manages to keep on his head appears to be in need of a deep shampoo and a thorough brushing. Seeing Nate every week makes me pat my own dry curly hair to remind myself that however uncooperative my own hair may be, Big Nate has it worse. However, for adolescent readers looking for a protagonist to identify with, it’s not that easy to laugh with him.

Big Nate: Welcome to my World
by Lincoln Pierce
ISBN: 9781449462260
Andrews McMeel, 2015
Publisher Age Rating: 8-12

  • Amy Estersohn

    | She/Her Past Reviewer

    Amy Estersohn is a seventh grade English teacher at Hommocks Middle School in Larchmont, NY and the inheritor of a large classroom library. She has always been struck by the ability of graphic novels to convey a story that transcends written language alone. That story can be for developing readers, such as the time a five-year-old saw her reading Akira on the subway and snuggled next to her, insisting he “read” along, or it can be for proficient readers who want to explore a topic in more emotional depth, such as Don Brown’s depiction of a post-Katrina New Orleans in Drowned City. She holds a BA from the University of Chicago and an MA from Columbia University’s Teachers College.

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