Chapter Books - No More Nice
If you really need a good laugh, check out No More Nice by Amy MacDonald. Yes, I know it was out of print for a while, but according to the author’s website they have released it again, but as part of a flipbook that includes the sequel. And, yes the sequel No More Nasty is almost as good. No More Nice had me in stitches. MacDonald does a wonderful job of taking the ordinary “rules” of being nice and really shows them for what they are.
The story introduces us to eleven year-old Simon, who is being shipped off to his Great Aunt Matilda’s (Mattie) for Spring Break. Here Simon meets his Uncle Philbert along with a menagerie of animals and is introduced to un-lessons. Simon has struggled his whole life with trying to be nice and accommodating, but to the point of being walked on. Aunt Mattie and Uncle Philbert take Simon under their wings and teach him how to be himself and truly enjoy life. Oh, and learning how to whistle, spit, and make armpit sounds is an added bonus. Unfortunately for Simon when he returns home after two weeks he finds his overbearing Aunt Bea, Uncle Fred, and cousin Parker all still living in his home while theirs is being renovated. Simon tries very hard to follow the “rules” and be nice, but he finally has enough and stands up for himself. When his eccentric Aunt Mattie and Uncle Philbert arrive to help celebrate his birthday, Simon’s parents are reminded that being nice has its place, but there is a time for speaking up as well.
This is definitely a book I would recommend for anyone ages 9 and up. I must confess before reading this book I was under the impression that swearing and cussing were the same thing. Ah, but not so. If you were thinking the same thing, I say you too need to learn the difference like Simon and I did. Anyway, I think adults too would really appreciate the dilemmas Simon and his parents face along with the humor in how Aunt Mattie lives her life. The main characters are ones that can really be cheered for and the annoying characters are ones we all can so relate to. Plus, if the crazy antics and lifestyle of Aunt Mattie and Uncle Philbert do not make you laugh, well I think some serious time is needed with your inner child. Oh, and one last note there are some seriously funny vocabulary words used that make you scratch your head and seek out a dictionary.