Nick’s Letter-Essay #9: “My Life as a Cartoonist”

I have just finished reading “My Life as a Cartoonist,” by Janet Tashjian. This book is a medium sized (258) page book. The genre of this book is realistic fiction. It is about a 12 year old boy named Derek who was having a good time at school with no problems at all, but suddenly a bully moved into town and it all changed Derek’s life. But before I get into that…

I chose this great book because I have read most of the books in it’s series. Also I chose this book because Janet Tashjian books are filled with so much emotion and shocking parts. Also I chose this book because I am really into action books and this book was also filled with a lot of action and I really enjoy that. Also I chose this book because I really enjoyed her other two books before this one. I’m so familiar with the books in her series, which that is another huge reason why I chose this book. Finally I chose this book because lot’s of my friends have recommended me her series.

This realistic fiction book is about A young boy named Derek Fallon and he and his best friends Matt and Carly are hoping for this year to be their best year at school. But things did not get off to a good start when he found out that his old kindergarten teacher would be his teacher this year . The school year could not have gotten off to a worse start for Derek, but it did a new kid named Umberto came to his class and Umberto is in a wheelchair. All Derek wanted to do was get off to a good start with Umberto by asking why he was in a wheelchair. Umberto got mad and started making fun of Derek by calling him curious george because Derek was so curious. Every day Umberto terrorized Derek but everybody even the teacher loved Umberto except Matt and Carly. Derek loves to make comics about his monkey that he has and one day at school Umberto copied it and ruined Derek’s life even more. Umberto and Derek got into a fight at school, so they both got detention and they had to work on a project together. Nothing could go right for Derek, and all he wanted to do was cuddle with his beloved dog Bodie and his monkey Frank. Umberto has been terrorizing Derek for almost all of the first half of the school year, but something big happens and Umberto’s help is needed, but will he do it? Read this great book to find out.

The passage that I am about to quote is about how hard it is for Derek to concentrate when he is being bullied at school, he has a detention project to do. So Derek sits with his pets and stuffs his face into the couch cushion for just a break because his brain is filled up with so many problems. Finally the passage that I am about to quote shows how Derek comforts himself, and this shows how bad Umberto was ruining school for Derek.

This is the quoted passage,

“The rest of the night I spend happily sandwiched between Bodi and Frank on the couch. My mother hates it when I let them up on the furniture, but she’s doing paperwork in her office and Dad doesn’t mind as much as she does. As we watch the sitcom family on TV, Dad reminds me of what we talked about recently-how normal, routine things can become the topic of a comic strip. But my brain is fried. The last thing on my mind is milking this moment for material. Instead, I lean my head against the cushion and enjoy the moment for what it is: perfect.”

This quote appeared on page 107. I quoted this passage because It showed how Derek’s school year has been terrorized so much that during the nights all he does is cuddle with his pets. I also quoted this passage because it showed that there a lot’s of emotions in this book. Finally I chose this quote because it showed what Derek does when he is sad or something bad happened. I like how he does that in every book.

I rated this one a 8 out of ten because it had everything I liked in this book except it did not have lot’s of detail, which is a big part of the book and without lot’s of it is not an amazing book.

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2 thoughts on “Nick’s Letter-Essay #9: “My Life as a Cartoonist”

  1. You were definitely right about the emotion parts of the book. From reading this I can see that she uses good words to describe each scene. It makes me feel like I’m standing in the room with the character. Great way of building the suspense in order for me to read the book. I’m thinking about reading it now.

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