Bookmarks Are People Too!

by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver (2014)

Bookmarks Are People Too! is the first book in the Here’s Hank series, books that re-packages Henry Winkler’s lovable character Hank Zipzer for younger readers.  Don’t worry – these Intro level books retain all the hilarity and shenanigans of the Sweet Spot Hank Zipzer novels.

In this title, Hank and his classmates are putting on a play for Children’s Reading Week, written by their teacher, Ms. Flowers. Hank is pretty nervous about reading and memorizing the script. Hank has dyslexia, just as in the Hank Zipzer series, although it is never explicitly named.  Instead, Hank talks honestly about the challenges he faces with his schoolwork.  As he looks at the script for the play, “All the words started to swim on the pages.”  But, don’t worry.  Hank’s best friend Frankie – “best friends since we were babies” – is there to help.

The sweetest parts of this Intro Title are Hank’s relationships, especially his friendship with Frankie and his closeness with his grandfather, Papa Pete.  These relationships help ground Hank when everything seems too hard.

Young children will relate to the students in Hank’s class; the attention-seeker, the new student, the spelling bee winner, and Hank himself. Hank is an unexpected hero; he has his downfalls, makes his mistakes, but ultimately saves the class play. The writing is funny and will delight children, especially the witty back-and-forth between Hank and Frankie.

Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver cleverly pepper real locations in New York City throughout the story. Young readers will identify with Hank and his friends – and learn something new from their different experiences.