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Dan Gutman's My Weird School

Author:

Main Characters

Name Job/relationship to AJ

AJ (Arlo Jervis)

Main character

Ryan

friends with AJ

Michael

friends with AJ

Neil

friends with AJ

Alexia

friends with AJ

Andrea

is AJ's opposite, rival for best student

Emily

Andrea's best friend, often called a cry baby

Miss/Mrs Daisy

AJ's second grade teacher, she is the titile of the first book

Mr Klutz

School Principal, has no hair, is often doing crazy things.

Mr Grantite

AJ's third grade teacher

My Weird School

The My Weird School books are a series of books based on a group of characters who attend Ella Mentry School, written by Dan Gutman. Although the main character in all the books is AJ, the books each have a separate story about a staff member or adult, whose name is usually the title of the book. You can, however, read the books in any order and independent of each other and still understand the plot and backstory.

They are chapter books, usually about 9 - 12 chapters in length and are full of illustrations. The recommended age range listed on the books is 7-10 years.

My Weird School Books

Dan Gutman

The back cover of the My Weird School books has the following description for Dan Gutman

' Dan Gutman has written many weird books for kids. He lives in New Jersey . . . with his weird wife and two weird children.'

His website www.dangutman.com. gives lots of information about how he became a writer and the other types of books he has written, including non fiction.

Why the Books Appeal to Children.

The combination of humor in the story and humorous illustrations keeps kids reading. The text is full of funny themes that reoccur through all of the books. For example every time the word wow appears it is followed by 'which means mom upside down'. If they need to move to another room they have to walk 'a million hundred miles'. There is a lot of play on everyday phrases that literally mean something different. One good example of the use of idioms is the use of the phrase You will never guess who walked in the door? Mr Klutz, of course he did not really walk in the door, that would really hurt.'

Children can relate to the evolving themes through the books. The characters, events and situations are all familiar things kids go through. Having to eat in the cafeteria, go out to recess, a trip to the nurse or the Principal's office and riding the bus are all within children's experiences.

The chapters are fairly short with lots of illustrations. Coupled with this the language used is very repetitive and friendly to those new to chapter books. The vocabulary used by AJ and the other students is similar to that used by children so they would be familiar with it.

Lastly, even though each story is about the same characters, school and locations all the books stand alone and are readable either in order or independent of each other.

Illustrations

The Illustrator of the books is Jim Pailot. He describes himself in the book cover as "lives in Arizona with his weird wife and two weird children. Isn't that weird? " On his website www.jimpaillot.com you can see his other illustration works. He produces comical illustrations for books, magazines and newspapers.

Example of a My Weird School Book

dan-gutmans-my-weird-school

Things to Know about Andrea

Andrea is AJ's rival for the best student in the class. She knows everything and has been to every type of afterschool class available. She is best friends with Emily and calls AJ by his full name Arlo, possibly because she knows he does not like it. AJ and Andrea often end up working together and get teased by AJ's friends that they must be in love.

Things to Know about A.J.

A.J is one of the main characters and the voice of the books. At the beginning of the series he is 6 years old and in 1st grade. He generally starts each book with

'My name's A.J.and I hate school.'

He has many phrases and provides most of the humor in the books through both what he says and does. He is in the Gifted and Talented program, dislikes his classmate Andrea, loves his action figure, loves peeps. A.J. has lots of adventures with his friends Ryan, Michael and Neil and they all think the word butt is very funny!

My Weird School Specials

Book signing with Dan Gutman

Dan Gutman at a Book Signing.

Dan Gutman at a Book Signing.

Specials books and the 3 Series

The books have been written in 3 different series' and a set of specials books. The sets are broken up into My Weird School, My Weird School Daze, My Weirder School and My Weird School Specials. They begin in Miss Daisy's class where we are introduced to all the characters and teachers and as the books develop the students graduate, go on field trips and get up to all sorts of adventures. The Specials are usually based on holidays, for example Its Halloween, I'm turning Green. The story is based on the Halloween holiday and the adventure that AJ and his friends get up to. The Specials books also include puzzles and activities in the back of the books based on the characters and the story in the book.

List of Books

My Weird SchoolMy Weird School DazeMy Weirder SchoolMy Weird School SpecialMy Weirdest School

Miss Daisy is Crazy

Miss Dole is out of Control

Miss Child Has Gone Wild

My Weird Writing Tips

Mr Cooper is Super

Mr Klutz is Nuts

Mr Sunny is Funny

Mr Harrison is Embarassin

Its Halloween, I'm Turning Green

Ms. Cuddly is Nutty (available June 2015)

Mrs Roopy is Loopy

Mr Grantie is from another Planet

Mrs Lilly is Silly

Deck the Halls, We're Off the Walls

Miss Brown is Upside Down (available October 2015)

Miss Hannah is Bananas

Coach Hyatt is a Riot

Mr Burke is Berserk

Bunny Double, We're in Trouble

 

Miss Small is off the Wall

Officer Spence Makes no Sense

Ms Beard is Weird

Back to School, Weird Kids Rule

 

Mr Hynde is out of his Mind

Mrs Jafee is Daffy

Mayor Hubble is in Trouble

Oh Valentine, We've Lost Our Minds

 

Mrs Cooney is Loony

Dr Brad Has Gone Mad

Miss Kraft is Daft

 

 

Miss LaGrange is Strange

Miss Laney is Zany

Dr Nicholas is Ridiculous

 

 

Miss Lazar is Bizarre

Mrs Lizzy is Dizzy

Ms Sue Has No Clue

 

 

Mr Docker is off his Rocker

Miss Mary is Scary

Mr Jack is a Mainiac

 

 

Mrs Kormel is not Normal

Mr Tony is Full of Baloney

Miss Klute is a Hoot

 

 

Miss Todd is Odd

Ms Leakey is Freaky

Mrs Lane is a Pain

 

 

Mrs Patty is Batty

 

 

 

 

Miss Holly is too Jolly

 

 

 

 

Mr Macky is Wacky

 

 

 

 

Miss Coco is Loco

 

 

 

 

Miss Suki is Kooky

 

 

 

 

Mrs Yonkers is Bonkers

 

 

 

 

Dr Carbles is loosing his Marbles

 

 

 

 

Mr Louie is Screwy

 

 

 

 

Ms Krup Cracks me Up

 

 

 

 

Would you like to Attend Ella Mentry School?

In conclusion, the My Weird School Series is perfect for both boys and girls, beginner and fluent readers. The use of Idioms throughout the stories, the comic illustrations and the everyday experiences that occur appeal to everyone. The range of characters ensure all kids can identify with the stories.

Meet Dan Gutman