Viau, N. Just One Thing
September 28th 2016 by Schiffer Publishing
Copy provided by the publisher
Nominated for the Cybils Award by the publisher
Anthony Pantaloni is in fifth grade, and very concerned that when he gets to middle school he will not have anything that sets him apart except for the horrible nickname "Antsy Pants", a nickname that the class bully has pinned to him. In an effort to set himself apart, Anthony tries swimming and several other activities, but he has to keep up with his homework as well. His teacher notices that he has trouble reading, and he ends up getting glasses. His father starts dating his cousin's drama teacher, who ends up being his substitute teacher. In the end, Anthony uses his love of doodling to draw the winning school mascot, and gets enough acclaim from his skills that he feels that middle school won't be a complete disaster.
Strengths: This was generally upbeat, even though Anthony's mother had left the family and the cousin is living with him because both of her parents were deployed. I liked the fact that getting glasses was addressed, as well as a parent dating. It was also good to see a student involved in a variety of activities.
Weaknesses: This was more anecdotal rather than plot driven, and there's not much character development.
What I really think: This has a few things to recommend it, and will be popular with readers who enjoy Wimpy Kid type books.