Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Today's read... First Day, Worst Day by Andy Nonamus

Today, I have the honor of taking a peek at the first book in a brand-new chapter book series for beginning readers. I couldn't help but smile at the emoji-ish face on the cover and am pretty sure this one is packed with school mishaps and disasters. I'm hoping this will be perfect for beginning reads and will pack tons of fun. So, let's dive into each of them and see if this series is worth picking up.

The Very Worst Ever, #1
by Andy Nonamus
Illustrated by Amy Jindra
Little Simon
128 pages
ages 6 to 10

JANUARY 9th!!!

A very unlucky kid navigates the many challenges of the first day of school in the first book in The Very Worst Ever chapter book series!

[REDACTED] keeps his name and school secret—even hiding his appearance behind stickers. Why? Because his bad luck is super embarrassing!

It’s the first day at a new school, and this fresh new start means absolutely no one knows just how unlucky he is. But after missing his school bus, getting lost looking for his classroom, and getting smacked in the face with a basketball, he quickly realizes he is doomed forever. Luckily, some new friends might just help him make it through the worst first day ever!

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Very Worst Ever chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.


With ridiculous accidents, this read invites to giggles while bring in the warmth of new friendships.

It's the first day at a brand new school and this boy (who refuses to be named, since he's embarrassed about his bad luck) is excited. Maybe, he can ditch the constant terrible cycle he's been in and start anew. The first morning already proves that this wish is probably impossible, and the boy is determined to simply survive as best he can.

The first pages begin directly addressing the reader as the boy explains why his face is hidden behind the 'sticker' and why he won't reveal his name. Then, it shifts into a more usual story mode and lets the adventure roll. The switch was noticeable, but it does do its job well at getting the reader's attention and gaining needed sympathy. After this, the accidents more silly than the last. But this isn't a pure slap-stick comedy read, either. There are some more imaginative twists (think possible ghosts, hidden staircases, etc), which give it very unexpected surprises and turns, but these never grow truly deep enough to place this into the fantasy area. Instead, it reels right back into the 'normal' school routine to keep the entire thing very familiar to readers.

This is for those readers, who do have a grip on their words but aren't quite ready for longer reads. The font is well spaced and easy on the eyes. The illustrations are plentiful and help each scene to come across clearly. The vocabulary fits the age group, and the entire read is quick-paced enough to keep boredom away. As if boredom is a danger as the humor remains high. 

The ending hits a much more positive note than I expected and leaves with a promise of more adventures to come. I'm looking forward to seeing where this leads next. 


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