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Reviewed by:
  • Jake the Fake Keeps It Real by Craig Robinson
  • Kate Quealy-Gainer, Assistant Editor
Robinson, Craig Jake the Fake Keeps It Real; by Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach; illus. by Keith Knight. Crown, 2017 [144p] (Jake the Fake)
Library ed. ISBN 978-0-553-52352-2 $16.99
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-553-52351-5 $13.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-553-52353-9 $9.99
Reviewed from galleys Ad Gr. 4-6

Jake starts sixth grade tomorrow and he’s pretty sure he faked his way into the Music and Art Academy: he played the only song he knows on the piano (quite well, but still), cheated on the math portion, and got some extra tips from his sister, M&AA’s star student, to secure his admission. He’s certain someone is going to notice his considerable lack of musical and/or artistic talent until he realizes that the only way to be “normal” at M&AA is to be weird, and he’s got the chops to out-weird the best of them. Now he’s demanding to be called the Dentist and using garbage for art collages, but he’s worried the upcoming talent show/final project will finally reveal who the real Jake is. Jake’s a sympathetic kid, and his narration is an amusing combination of self-deprecating humor, insecurities, and yes, weirdness. Knight’s black and white spot art is playfully wonky and frenetic, but the visual gags often lack the punch needed to bolster the comedy of the text. The humor is hit or miss throughout the book, and it especially falls flat in the climactic scene in which Jake improvs a comedy routine for the talent show. Still, kids who feel like the odd one out even among the odd ones will relate to Jake’s experience, and they’ll appreciate his ability to take things in stride. [End Page 279]

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-6766
Print ISSN
0008-9036
Pages
p. 279
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-12
Open Access
No
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