EllRay Jakes Is Not a Chicken

Sally Warner, Author, Jamie Harper, Illustrator
Sally Warner, illus. by Jamie Harper. Viking, $14.99 (128p) ISBN 978-0-670-06243-0
Prebound-Other - 108 pages - 978-0-606-23632-4
Paperback - 108 pages - 978-0-14-241988-5
Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-101-56453-0
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-101-56458-5
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EllRay is shorter than everyone in his third-grade class—even the girls, who include Emma of Warner's Only Emma and its sequels. Yet in this lively series launch, EllRay displays big-time guts as he stands up to class bully Jared. Pondering why Jared has waged "war" against him, EllRay rules out that it's because he's black ("Jared would have said something if it was. He is not the type of kid to keep things to himself"), deciding that it's either because "I'm better at just about everything at school—except being big—than Jared is" or that "there could be no reason at all." When EllRay's father promises him a day at Disneyland if he stays out of trouble for a week, he worries that Jared will make him lose his temper—and the trip. Though it appears that EllRay's acceptance of Jared's challenge to a fight will doom his amusement park dreams, Warner's clever plotting brings an unexpected and rewarding ending. EllRay's ingenuous narration and the well-observed classroom dynamics are the main draw, and Harper's cartoons, incorporated throughout, further enliven the story. Ages 6–8. (Feb.)
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