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Having read & reread the beloved the Clementine series along with my daughter I thought my son would love Waylon...he wasn't impressed =( I guess it was too young for him, at 10 years old. Waylon, like Clementine, is quite a character. If you like to laugh & even be embarrassed for someone else (once in a while) you will most likely enjoy reading about Waylon and his antics.
Waylon is a loveable nerd. I read the book to my 2nd and 3rd grade classes. The students were rather antsy as the first chapter is hard to follow since you don't know Waylon yet. The rest is just great. Good fun!
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
My oldest daughter is almost nine years old, and she is an avid reader. She and I have read all of Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine books, so we were very excited about the opportunity to read Pennypacker’s latest book: Waylon! One Awesome Thing.
Waylon is not a sequel to the Clementine books, but they are definitely a spinoff. Waylon lives in Clementine’s world; the two children attend the same school, and they are both in the fourth grade. They are not close friends, but Waylon has a couple of interactions with her over the course of the book.
If you are not familiar with the Clementine books, that’s okay; you don’t have to have read them before reading Waylon. Waylon is a fourth grade boy who lives in Boston with his parents and sister. Waylon is a very intelligent boy, and he loves science.
As the story begins, Waylon experiences some big changes all at once. Arlo Brody, a popular boy, has divided the fourth grade boys into two “teams”. Waylon doesn’t particularly want to be on a team, but he still feels hurt when he is not placed on either of the teams. Back at home, his older sister Charlotte has started wearing black clothes, calling herself “Neon” and saying nihilistic things.
And if that were not bad enough- Baxter, the infamous juvenile criminal mastermind- makes a triumphant return to the fourth grade.
Waylon! One Awesome Thing is such an adorable book. My daughter enjoyed reading this book with me, and she laughed frequently at the things that were happening. As a parent, I appreciate that the book contains some nice messages about friendship, teamwork, and the importance of family.
I would recommend Waylon! One Awesome things to middle grade readers. This is the first book in a new series. Waylon is such a wonderful protagonist. He’s considerate, thoughtful, and creative. He has such wonderful ideas about scientific topics, which earns him the honorific “the scienciest kid”. My daughter and I are absolutely looking forward to more Waylon books.
Waylon: One Awesome Thing by Sara Pennypacker is for children nine to twelve. Waylon is an inventor. He wants to invent something that will put his family back together. He is struggling with belonging when the most popular boy in school decides he might be gang material. He is distressed by the division of his class into two groups and by gender. He is not sure he wants to belong to a group. His sister has entered a grunge phase and he doesn’t have anyone to confide in at home. Worrying about how he appeared to others is a new idea for Waylon. He’d never given this any thought before because he’d always fit in, everyone had always been friends, and suddenly he is afraid of being a loser sitting alone at the back of the bus. Here is an example of the wonderful writing: “Baxter had only been in the third grade for a few days last September, but a couple of days were enough. When he’d left, the rumor that he’d been sent away to prison. Everyone had agreed that it would be a good place for him.” Waylon eventually teams up with Baxter to solve his problems. They devise a solution to rescue a dog from the police department and manage to bring the fourth grade together. I give this a five out of five. The characters are wonderful, detailed, full of well-described emotions. I found the situations funny, and the settings well drawn. The dialogue was realistic, and well done. I give this story about a fourth grade inventor a five out of five.