In a Class by Himself (Big Nate Chapter Book #1)

by Lincoln Peirce (Author) Lincoln Peirce (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

"Big Nate is funny, big time."--Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid

For fans of the hilarious Diary of a Wimpy Kid series: Get ready to meet Big Nate! In the first novel in the New York Times bestselling series, Big Nate is in a class by himself!

Nate knows he's meant for big things. REALLY big things. But things don't always go your way just because you're awesome. Nate barely survives his dad's toxic oatmeal before rushing off to school--minus his lunch. He body slams the no-nonsense principal. He accidentally insults his least favorite teacher, the horrifying Mrs. Godfrey (aka Godzilla). And school has barely started!

Trouble always seems to find him, but Nate keeps his cool. He knows he's destined for greatness. A fortune cookie told him so.

Here comes BIG NATE, accidental mischief maker and definitely NOT the teacher's pet.

Get your reader into this beloved series with Big Nate: In a Class by Himself, the perfect book for anyone who's ever been to middle school.

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The cartoons provide plenty of gags at the expense of various adults and classmates, and Nate’s persistent good cheer and moxie make him a likable new proxy for young misfits.

Kirkus Review - Children

Thank goodness sequels are planned!

Horn Book Magazine

Starred Review
Many laugh-out-loud moments...There is so much to like here...The millions of Wimpy Kid fans will be thrilled to find another cartoon buddy to read about, this good-hearted king of detention.

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6 Nate is a sixth grader who has a problem with organization. Everything is going wrong, and he's piling up detention after detention. Things start to improve when he gets a fortune cookie with a message stating that he will "surpass all others," giving him a purpose for the day and leading to humorous incidents such as when he tries to beat a speed record for eating green beans, and when he tickles his science teacher with a feather duster. This fully developed protagonist debuted in a comic strip; this is Peirce's first book about him, and it is a successful, laugh-out-loud venture. Readers meet a variety of characters, each with a unique personality or trait. Peirce's black-and-white ink illustrations, whether they are comics Nate has drawn or other funny images, help to develop the story. "Big Nate" will fill in gaps in collections that are looking for books for reluctant readers, and for Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" (Abrams) read-alikes."Lora Van Marel, Orland Park Public Library, IL"

Copyright 2010 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Star of a long-running comic strip, sixth-grader Nate Wright makes the leap to a cartoon-laden chapter book in the smart alecky vein of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". Nate (whos not exactly Joe Honor Roll) dissects the horrors of middle school, from vindictive teachers to the popular girls lunch table, aka Fort Knox (You can try to get in, but you have no chance). The wisp of a plot revolves around a fortune cookie that predicts, Today you will surpass all others, launching Nate into actions that indeed cause him to surpass all others with seven detentions. (His ill-conceived plans include speed-eating 148 servings of cafeteria green beans.) The books appeal lies in Nates wickedly astute observations and the savvy integration of cartoons with text. Angry teachers speech bubbles drip with icicles, and sidebars house humorous asides: When a teacher completely snaps and starts screaming, its called a Full Godfrey. (When Mrs. Godfrey does it, its called Monday). Though Nate may not achieve the fame he seeks with his classmates, this sharp-witted and unflappable protagonist just might find it with readers. Ages 812. "(Apr.)" Copyright 2010 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

Review quotes


i love this book

it is so cool

Lincoln Peirce
Lincoln Peirce has been drawing the Big Nate comic strip for over 30 years. Born in Ames, Iowa, Peirce grew up in Durham, New Hampshire. As a kid, he began creating his own strips in the sixth grade. Peirce taught high school in New York City and has created several animated pilots for Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, and is a consulting producer on the new Big Nate animated series on Nickelodeon and Paramount+. He lives in Portland, Maine, with his family.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
March 20, 2010
Big Nate Chapter Book
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV035000 - Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
Library of Congress categories
Humorous stories
Conduct of life
Middle schools
Kentucky Bluegrass Award
Winner 2012 - 2012
Young Reader's Choice Award
Nominee 2013 - 2013
Great Stone Face Book Award
Winner 2011 - 2012
Garden State Children's Book Awards
Winner 2013 - 2013

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