Monday, July 18, 2022

Big Nate: Destined for Awesomeness by Lincoln Peirce

Big Nate: Destined for Awesomeness by Lincoln Peirce 
Format:  E-ARC
Publisher:  Andrews McMeel Publishing
Number of pages:  224
Publishing:  August 30th, 2022
Source:  Publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Big Nate first debuted as a comic strip on January 6th, 1991, and in 2010 the graphic novel titled Big Nate: In a Class by Himself was published.  Lincoln Pierce went on to publish eight books in the series and his stories have now been adapted into an animated series on Paramount+ and Nickelodeon.  

Nate Destined for Awesomeness is a tie-in to the animated series and includes stories from three different episodes with the corresponding comic strip that each episode is based off at the end of the chapter.  The first story is called "The Legend of the Gunting."  Trouble always seems to find Nate, and this time is no different when he risks being "gunted" if he gets one more detention.  But laying low proves to be difficult when a new student arrives at school.  This story reminded me a lot of the Terrible Two series by Mac Barnett.   In "Go Nate, It's Your Birthday," Nate's father lends him his credit card to buy himself a birthday present and Nate goes on a huge spending spree.  Fearful of what his father might do when he finds out he maxed out his card, Nate and his friends develop a scheme to find some cash fast.  In "CATastrophe," Nate is paired with his school crush, Jenny on a class project only to find out she has a dreaded cat.  Can Nate overcome his fear to spend time with his true love? 

I can see Big Nate: Destined for Awesomeness, appealing to middle graders who enjoy the Paramount + animated television series or for fans who get the humor of the original graphic novels and Nates tendency to land himself in trouble.  There are a few obvious differences that the reader should be aware of between this book and the Big Nate graphic novel series.  First, Big Nate: Destined for Awesomeness features the full color CG artwork from the animated television series with the original black and white comic book illustrations that each episode is based off appearing at the end of the chapter.  So, if you're looking for the original format where the artwork and illustrations complement the written text of the graphic novels, it's still interspersed into Big Nate: Destined for Awesomeness, but the panels now mainly follow the full color television CG artwork.  I think the CG artwork and text via speech bubbles format will take avid fans of the Big Nate graphic novels some time to get used.  At the same time, I think this story will find some new reluctant reader fans who are looking for a humorous story.   Here's a preview of the television series to give you a feel for the artwork style.  

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