Publisher's Note:  

In sixth grade, bad things can happen to good kids. Bullies will find your weakness and jump on it. Teachers will say you did something wrong when really didn't mean to do anything wrong. The kids who joke the loudest can drown out the quieter, nicer kids.

Maverick wants to change all that. One of the last things his father left him was a toy sheriff's badge, back when Maverick was little. Now he likes to carry it around to remind him of his dad - and also to remind him to make school a better place for everyone... even if that's a hard thing to do, especially when his own home life is falling apart.

THE SECRET SHERIFF OF SIXTH GRADE is a story about standing up for yourself - and being a hero at home and in the halls of your school.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic Press (A Scholastic Imprint)

The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade

by Jordan Sonnenblick

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Overall Review:  

Books with a good message hidden within a good story always make it to the top of my reading pile.  The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade is no exception.

Maverick Falconer is a character I instantly fell in love with.  He is the definition of a pip-squeak.  He prays that someday he will reach five feet and has long accepted the fact that he is the smallest in his class.  Maverick is sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek, and doesn’t run from a fight.  His quippy insight into how the world actually works was enjoyable to read.

The only drawback to this book are the difficult family situations threaded throughout the book.  While the reading level is certainly appropriate for a younger audience, these situations are the reason that this book is recommended for either young adult readers or for readers at the older end of the middle grade spectrum.  (Mature younger readers may be able to handle the content with appropriate supervision and knowledge.)  

Overall, a great book filled with a message of how the little guy can make a big difference.

Content Analysis:  

Language:  2 religious exclamations.

Violence and Gore:  Man forcibly hits woman in face; boy punches locker until fist is bloody; boys wrestle and fight resulting in bloody nose; boy knocks another into trash can and locker; child is accidentally hit in head with door; retelling of story of dad’s death in fire during war; father forcibly hits son in head; bloody nose from implied domestic violence; boy cuts ear on locker door with bloody depiction; 3 page fight with bloody gash to chest requiring stitches; apartment fire resulting in death of pet and burnt hands of adult.

Sex and Nudity:  1 hug between boy and girl.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Socioeconomic conflicts, death of family member and pet, war, unemployment, child abuse, spouse/domestic abuse, addictions, alcoholism, stealing.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Adult drinks alcohol (not specified as to kind) and smokes.

Reviewed By Beckie
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