Publisher's Note:  

In this Newbery Honor-winning story from 1984, a new family builds a relationship as a stepfather and stepson celebrate their differences and take heart in their similarities.  Alex feels that he does not have much in common with his stepfather Jake until a fuzzy spider brings them together.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Yearling (A Random House Children's Imprint)

Like Jake and Me

by Mavis Jukes

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Overall Review:  

Like Jake and Me is a fabulous example of a book that says a lot with very few words.  Little Alex is trying to help his step-father, Jake, but is usually brushed off with that age-old phrase, “Maybe another time.”  Then comes a moment in time when Alex helps Jake—in this instance, Alex realizes that even a grown man and a ‘real’ cowboy can have fears that seem just as simple as his own, and Jake realizes that Alex is a person, too.  We see a very sweet bonding moment between a boy and a man who are trying to form a new family.  It is very perceptive for such a short book, and deserves multiple readings to discover the many layers.  For a child, it’s a fun story of a boy helping a man find a spider.  For an adult, it’s a touching reminder of those moments where we learn from and grow closer to our children.

Content Analysis:  

This sweet little book has no profanity, no violence, and no sexual content.  One character undresses piece by piece searching for a poisonous spider, and there is a picture, but there are strategically placed hats and shadows, so nothing is seen; it is rather humorous.  The themes are very mild and include overcoming your fears, and realizing that whether adult or child, we are not all that different on the inside.

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Reviewed By Emily
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