With a title like that, this book better be good or you’re going to be disappointed, huh?
Well, I wasn’t much of a fan (it was an okay read in my humble opinion), but my students LOVED this book. I used it as a read-aloud in September and October and once they got into it, there was whining and crying every time I stopped for the day. So I’d say it was a good selection. (I pick read-aloud books that I haven’t read before but think look good so I can be excited with them and model good reading strategies. I could easily do this with a book I’ve read before, but it makes it more fun for me if I get a surprise every once in a while also.)
Nicky Flynn’s world has basically ended. His mom divorced his dad, moved him to another city, he had to leave his best friend Marky, he’s getting bullied at his new school, his mom is drinking too much, and to top it all off, she comes home one afternoon with a giant German sheperd instead of dinner.
And this German sheperd just happens to be a retired seeing eye dog named Reggie who didn’t get the memo that he’s no longer required to lead anyone around anymore.
I believe my students loved this book because everyone could relate to some part of Nicky’s struggle. He’s definitely got enough to go around. Watching him struggle to fit in, solve the mystery of why his dad doesn’t come around anymore, and understand this new dog that’s been thrown into his life keep their attention and kept them guessing.
This is book is written at a level higher than most of my 7th graders read at. It’s definitely a middle level book (Nicky is twelve) but I have many readers that are well-below grade level. So allowing them to feel successful and relate to a book that many would not read on their own gives them more confidence as readers. And I feel my number one job right now is ensuring my students leave my room life-long readers.
So my students, all 86 of them wholeheartedly recommend How I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life (and a dog) by Art Corriveau to you. And you should definitely trust them because they’re a tough bunch to please. And that is the truth.
DISCLOSURE: AFFILIATE LINKS USED.