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NONFICTION

Everything You Need To Know When You Are 8

Abrams/Amulet. (Everything You Need to Know). Jul. 2020. 144p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781419742309.
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Gr 2-4–Despite the title, this is not an advice book for navigating life at age eight; rather, it’s a zany how-to guide about topics that many eight-year-old readers will find amusing, such as making boogers and hiding a fart. At times, the text turns practical, with information on maintaining proper hygiene in “How To Smell Delightful” and “How To Get Germs Before They Get You,” which are shared in an age-appropriate and lighthearted way. What takes away from those moments are some of the overly silly sections (such as “How To Fart in Public”). The book’s tips and subjects do not necessarily have universal appeal. It is difficult to navigate a work that briefly discusses issues of consent and calling 911 while also teaching readers to play pranks on their parents and put fake poop in the tub. The text tries to be a lot of things at once and would fare better sticking to the jocular tone and wacky commentary. Some kids will be wholly uninterested, but others, especially pranksters, will be entertained by the book’s comical asides.
VERDICT Look elsewhere for an informative and straightforward guide to life, but this book could be useful for collections wanting titles infused with silliness.

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