EllRay Jakes Walks the Plank!

by Sally Warner (2012)

How many ways can you get in trouble in 113 pages?  Eight-year-old EllRay Jakes investigates that question in the third book of the EllRay Jakes series by Sally Warner.  As he says, “I will never need to ask for trouble, not when trouble seems to find me so easily.”

Of course, the trouble EllRay finds himself in is 3rd grade-level trouble, but it seems monumental to him.  Ever have one of those weeks where nothing seems to go your way?  Welcome to the week after Spring Break for EllRay, where he has to face everything from a dead class pet to a scheming class bully.

Through it all, EllRay remains a good big brother who tries to be patient with his 4 year old sister.  He is a good friend, even when navigating the tricky waters of peer relationships.  And, he has strong adults who believe in him, even when he has trouble believing in himself.  His teacher, Ms. Sanchez, sees him like a geode, “a little rough on the outside, at least lately, but beautiful and precious on the inside.”

Every child has moments when they feel like they about to “walk the plank” and face the consequences of their actions (real or imagined).  EllRay Jakes Walks the Plank! offers readers story-length guidance on how to be brave and big-hearted, even when – or especially when – things get tough.  This intro book will give families lots to talk about, and that is the mark of a great read aloud.  And, that’s why you keep reading EllRay Jakes.