Author: Rachel Vail
Illustrator: Matthew Cordell
Is there anyone in the world with more worries that Justin Krzeszewski? Whether it’s the first day of school (hey, third grade can be scary!), class projects, the complications of friendships, things that go bump in the night, or his grandma’s jello, it seems Justin always has something daunting on his mind. Still, what better person to demonstrate great bravery than he who has much fear? And as Justin faces his fears, he grows into a person others respect and look up to . . . . Yet another thing to be terrified of!
I very much enjoyed reading Justin Case. It is heartwarming and funny, and it vividly brings back the trials of third grade (which seem absolutely ancient history to me on a usual day). I enjoyed the journal-like tone and setup–I think it displays Justin’s character (which is excellently developed) in a very natural manner. (I really loved the “it’s not that I’m scared, it’s just that that . . .” moments; his tsundere-like fibs are very cute.) There are also some great friendships and family relationships in this story. Justin Case is a humorous, endearing tale that I recommend particularly for kids around Justin’s age (and for parents with kids around that age), but also for anyone interested in a good story.