4.0-4.25 Stars when reading with an adult
2.5-2.75 Stars when reading alone
Trevor Lee is a third-grader trapped in a three-letter world. He has managed to keep his secret from everyone… family, peers, and even teachers are seemingly unaware he is struggling to read. When his teacher announces that all students have to get up on stage and read out loud during Parent’s Night, Trevor knows he is in trouble. There’s no way she will assign him something with small words. Everyone will know he cannot read like they do. He can just imagine how they will laugh and make fun of him? He will do anything to avoid getting up on that stage.
Oh my goodness! What on earth was he going to do? He and his best friend Pinky, try to get him out of it. Sneaky, not so sneaky, one by one their ideas fail. Now with his secret hanging over him like the anvil about to crush poor Coyote’s head in the classic cartoon. He thinks of his beloved Grandmother’s words. “Some days are just bad. You gotta hold your head high and keep moving.” How could this help? The book works its’ way to a heartfelt, satisfying conclusion that will touch each reader differently.
Trevor Lee and The Big Uh Oh is cute without being cutesy and laugh out loud humorous at times. Wiley Blevins’ story is populated by realistic characters 7-10-year-old girls and boys can readily identify with and easily relate too. Many children struggle with basic reading skills. It is important to emphasize everyone learns at their own pace and it’s okay to be on a different level than your friends. However, we do not want to encourage kids to put forth so much effort to avoid learning altogether. I think Trevor Lee and The Big Uh Oh should be read for the first time with an adult. Because it is important kids get the right message. I read the book. Then read it with my seven-year-old granddaughter. When finished I asked her what she thought. She immediately asked, “Nana, why couldn’t Trevor read? Why didn’t his teacher know he couldn’t read? Didn’t his family read with him every day like we do?” She also thought this would be a good book for her class to read together. Sharing this book with her provided me with an opportunity to discuss responsibility, keeping secrets, asking for help, and the importance of practicing. (Why her Nana always says “practice, practice, practice — to get better at anything we have to practice!”)
Note: Reading is the foundation upon which all future learning will be built. I strongly recommend reading with your child (grandchild, niece, nephew, etc.) every day. Join one of the many online challenges. There are lists of age-appropriate children’s books available online, as well as, in your local library. Turn reading into an adventure or a game. Children are keen on both. It is recommended that we read a minimum of 15-minutes each night. Take the challenge.