Friday, September 9, 2022

Today's read... Big Nate: Release the Hounds! by Lincoln Peirce

Ready for some fun? Today's read comes from a very well-known and longer running series. Not only has the book form gained popularity, but it's now running as a show. I haven't read a Big Nate book for...hmmm...years. So, I'm really looking forward to see how things have progressed and what the fun character is up to now.

Plus, we can all need an extra dose of humor to remind us how serious ridiculous life truly is. 

Big Nate Graphic Novels, #28
by Lincoln Peirce
Andrews McMeel
Middle Grade Humor
176 pages
ages 8 to 12


The newest collection of comics featuring Big Nate, who is now the star of a new animated TV series on Paramount+ and Nickelodeon.

Nate Wright's life kind of stinks. His dad's habit of handing out healthy snacks ruins another Halloween. His frenemy Artur proves to be the world's worst football teammate. And how does Todd Dunfy have a girlfriend while Nate's still shockingly single? It isn't fair...but Nate doesn't sweat it.  Sidelined by a soccer injury, he tries his hand at coaching. After Chad gets stuck with a cheeky nickname, Nate decides to butt in. And when Gina takes over the student lounge, Nate puts his best foot forward. Sweet! This brand-new collection of Big Nate comics is a breath of fresh air. So relax, kick your shoes off...and RELEASE THE HOUNDS!



Nate's life doesn't get any easier as he tries his best to steer through soccer, home, and school in another collection of situations, which hit a familiar note and leave a huge smile.

Nate's got his hands usual. Playing goalie on the soccer team is a challenge but nothing compared to the inner-back and forth with his teammates and friends. Add a constant ear-flood of someone getting straight A's, a friend claiming that Nate only talks about himself, seasonal nonsense, and teachers...always teachers...and well, life is never calm.

Starting on the odd note of a 'successful' loss with a pinch of melancholy but full-hearted, spirited positivity, Nate's latest adventures take off in their usual direction of attempts, fails, and life twists he didn't see coming and isn't sure how to steer. The usual gang of characters let their personalities shine as they work through one moment to the next with all the attitude, mistakes, good intentions, and heart that readers have grown to love. 

Of course, Nate has some new challenges. Not only is there a more pressure at school, but he swerves into the realm of girlfriends and the entire drama, which that might hold...if it ever got that far. It settles nicely into the age group without going overboard. Friendship also rings high as he does his best to step in, when help is needed, and his attempts do echo inspiration even when not always flawless. Then, there's his new role as coach as he needs to learn a few more life truths. So, the messages are plenty as their not-so-straight paths aim at familiar goals. But that's what makes the humor sit so well. It's always centered around issues, which readers can connect with, and the pain or ridiculousness these hold. Each one sits so close to home that it hits just right, so readers can see a bit of themselves in Nate or those around him.

The graphics, as always, are spot on and let Nate and his gang shine. They are easy to follow, bright and bold, and bring each moment the added push it needs.

It was a fun read and is sure to excite Big Nate fans, old and new.

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