Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Review: 28 Tricks for a Fearless Grade 6
Publish March 4, 2014
28 Tricks for a Fearless Grade 6 Written by Catherine Austen James Lorimer 190 pp March 1, 2014 Ages 8 to 11 Dave Davidson’s Grade 6 classmates have lots of fears – dancing, public speaking, dogs and even the future. When he “cures” his friend Eric’s fear of dancing in the first month of Grade 6, Dave gets a reputation for success and he is enlisted to help the others manage their phobias. Dave’s ideas aren’t always good – in fact, he often blunders into the solutions – but somehow he helps them to develop their own resources for fearlessness. Through dialogue and humour, author, Catherine Austen, keeps the action moving in a way that will engage both expert and reluctant readers. At the same time, she painlessly slips in some useful tips and wise perspectives on life. The story includes a hilarious public-speaking fiasco involving a poster of a Justin Bieber-like teen idol, an ongoing project of Dave’s band to film themselves singing O Canada in interesting ways, and a new perspective on his blackmailing classmate Robbie. Austen manages to give us well-rounded characters, including enthusiastic videographer and word-mangler Eric, dance enthusiast Dave (who has dropped out of every extra-curricular activity he has enrolled in), ever-responsible Taz, determined to use his new-found height to fight inappropriate behaviour everywhere; and organized Claire who worries about the future. Funny, wise, fast-paced and engaging, 28 Tips for a Fearless Grade 6 offers plenty for young readers. Gillian O’Reilly is the editor of Canadian Children’s Book News and a children’s book author. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. This review, and all of our children’s book reviews, are free to reprint and repost. Contact Us for more information.