Way of the Warrior Kid

Way of the Warrior Kid

From Wimpy to Warrior the Navy SEAL Way

Book - 2017
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Fifth grade was the worst year of Marc's life. He stunk at gym class, math was too hard for him, the school lunch was horrible, and his class field trip was ruined because he couldn't swim. But what was most awful thing about fifth grade? Kenny Williamson, the class bully, who calls himself the 'King of the Jungle.' When Marc's mother tells him that his Uncle Jake is coming to stay for the whole summer, Marc can't wait. Uncle Jake is a for real, super-cool Navy SEAL. And Uncle Jake has a plan.
Publisher: New York , NY :, Feiwel and Friends Book, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing Group,LLC,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781250151070
Characteristics: 182 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Bozak, Jon - Illustrator


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May 01, 2018

Not your typical Hollywood story like "The Karate Kid." It's more about becoming better in all aspects of your life. Even though this is a fictional story, Uncle Jake's mentoring of Marc is based on techniques applicable to real life. So the reader can develop life skills, confidence, self-esteem, and become a better person right alongside with Marc.

Uncle Jake not only wants Marc to develop physically but mentally as well and has Marc memorizing all the presidents, states, capitals, and the Gettysburg Address. The book includes a list of all the presidents and the Gettysburg Address so readers can participate with Marc, and try out the memorization techniques used by Marc. While they are valid techniques, the library actually has 2 books for kids which shows how to do it better, faster, and more fun. "Yo Sacramento!" for states and capitals, and "Yo Millard Fillmore!" for presidents. Both books offer to have you accomplish memorization in only 20 minutes. (Marc spent 5 nights working on memorizing all the presidents)

As you would expect, Uncle Jake is all business with military discipline, but the author also successfully writes from the perspective of a grade school kid dealing with insecurities.

A few issues with the story:

1. Marc's father is "gone most of the time, traveling for his job and stuff." Of course we need to get Dad out of the picture so Uncle Jake can show up and be the hero for this story, but Dad never shows up for the entire summer. The author could have come up with a better explanation for Dad not being in the story, like Dad's an astronaut and is on the international space station all summer. Or Mom's a widow. Or even Dad's in prison.

2. On page 114 Uncle Jake tells Marc, "No one should EVER do anything in the water alone." But when they first went to the river, Jake swam in the river alone while knowing Marc can't swim. No one else was around. And since they drove there, Marc would not be able to get help if something happened. So for all practical purpose, Uncle Jake was swimming alone and not setting a good example for Marc.

3. On page 129 Marc "pulled out a book from school about all the presidents." It's summer vacation. Why does Marc still have a school book at home that should have been returned before the last day of school?

Overall, the book is enjoyable and does have solid advice that kids may find inspiring when seeing Marc's transformation over the summer. Even though the reviewer above from Publishers Weekly doesn't think the illustrations add much to the story, I think they add to Marc's personality. While the author incorporate instructions into the story and tries to make it part of the story, sometime it reads like an instruction manual, but not too bad.


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