I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Naughty List by Michael FryBradley Jackson
Published by HarperCollins on September 22nd 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Humorous Stories, Holidays & Celebrations, Christmas & Advent, Social Issues, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
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When Bobbie's hilariously bumbling efforts to save her brother's Christmas actually land him on Santa's Naughty List, she must travel to the North Pole to make things right again and save Christmas. Bobbie suddenly finds herself on an epic holiday adventure complete with rogue elves, dysfunctional reindeer, a lazy Santa, and more.
Fans of the Big Nate and Diary of a Wimpy Kid series will love this laugh-out-loud funny Christmas adventure packed with comic illustrations.
If you have a middle schooler who has already read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and is looking for another holiday read – why not hand them The Naughty List by Michael Fry and Bradley Jackson. While The Naughty List does not quite have the same religious undertones as The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, there is quite a bit of hilarity in this co-written book. ALSO! Pictures! Who does not love books with pictures for real? This is definitely a holiday treat for the Diary Of Wimpy Kid fanbase.
The Naughty List is about this girl named Bobbie who truly believes she is being bullied by Christmas. You see, her family leaves these Christmas decorations up on the roof all year round and she is sick of living in the Christmas house. So, she climbs to the roof to try and take down the dead-eyed Santa Claus but ends up falling off the roof and breaking her wrist, I think. Furthermore, Bobbie’s family is split up for Christmas. Her dad is in North Dakota because there’s a job boom there and her mother works all the time. That leaves her brother Tad who is obsessed with Christmas and her weird basement dweller uncle. It’s just a bit much for Bobbie. So, anyways, Bobbie tries to win a present for Tad because she still cares that he has a good Christmas and along the way ends up recruited by two elves – Gumdrop and Phil to help save Christmas. What unfolds in The Naughty List is a rollicking adventure that I could totally see being made into a film.
Main character Bobbie Mendoza does fall into that whole angry/apathetic pre-teen stereotype. She’s just so over Christmas and done with the whole thing. She doesn’t even see the point in celebrating because the whole family isn’t together due to job circumstances. Of course, you can expect a change of heart. I do like how she kind of gripes throughout the whole book, it is very in character. However, when it comes down to it, she is able to rise to the occasion. She makes an interesting main character for young readers to follow along with.
The Naughty List by Michael Fry and Bradley Jackson is a super fast read. I have no idea how long it will take actual children to read – but for me this book was over in the blink of an eye. There is consistent action, hilarity and there always seems to be a new plot twist. I do think that this book was a bit heavy on the foreshadowing and on the little did I knows, but I guess I can’t really complain too much. The art is quite reminiscent of those Diary Of A Wimpy Kid books. So, really this is the type of book you would hand to a kid who likes that style in particular.
On A Scale of One to Buddy The Elf, How Much Christmas Spirit Does This Book Have?
I would say that The Naughty List is not quite on the Buddy The Elf end of the holiday cheer spectrum – but there were elements in it that made me think of The Santa Clause – not that there are characters in here who want to become Santa Claus – but the whole going to the North Pole and not so totally enthused feeling of Bobbie made me think of it. I do like that the book explains how and why a certain character has more Christmas cheer than others. Aside from that, overall this book will absolutely put you in the holiday spirit.
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