ZEKE MEEKS VS. THE BIG BLAH-RIFIC BIRTHDAY
by D.L. Green, illustrations by Josh Alves
Picture Window Books, 2013
Primary Humor (Early Chapter Book)
Reviewed from e-galley provided by publisher through NetGalley.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When Zeke's birthday
party falls near Grace Chang's and Owen Leech's big bashes, he decides
to cancel his party. After all, even he would rather go to their
over-the-top parties than his simple celebration. But Zeke and his
classmates are in for a surprise. Bigger doesn't always mean better.
As an elementary librarian I am always on the lookout for fun books to recommend to my students who are still learning to read (K-2). There are a ton of books available but some have more kid appeal than others. The series I'm talking about today has a ton of kid appeal, especially for boys who are reluctant readers.
Zeke Meeks hates bugs, loves bloody, gory video games, and is terrified of Grace Chang and her fingernails. Luckily for him he has some great friends, Hector and Charlie, and a quick mind. In this particular book Zeke has a birthday coming up and he wants a big party at a local amusement park. When his mother puts a stop to that and he discovers that Owen and Grace are having much bigger parties he decides to cancel his own. But when things go wrong at Grace's party, can Zeke save the day? I have to admit Zeke's solution of taking the kids to his house for a impromptu party I felt sympathy for his mother, but the way he turns it around really made me laugh. The humor throughout the book was delightful, if gross at times (seriously eating snails and caviar together?!) and bound to appeal to kids. I am definitely planning on sharing this series with my students and listening to them laugh. One of my favorite laugh out loud moments came when Zeke is outside lying in a hammock while his mother rakes leaves and says, "My life is so hard." I laughed so hard I snorted. The part where Zeke runs away from a fly just as he is about to set a personal record of 7 basketball shots made in a row is pretty funny as well. I highly recommend this series for reluctant readers or any reader who enjoys a quick funny read.