Thanks to National Public Radio (NPR), I’ve discovered a series of fun graphic novels meant for 9 to 12 year olds.. They’re the Lunch Lady books by Jarrett Krosoczka. Have you heard about them?
NPR has a book club for kids: Backseat Book Club: Youthful Reads for Junior Brainiacs. The Lunch Lady books are their pick for May.
When I was a kid we brought our lunches to school, but when my own kids (now in their forties) went to school they had the option of eating in a cafeteria or lunch room. Dinner conversation at home would occasionally be about the school food and the lunch ladies. So I know my kids and my grand-kids will identify with the premise and the imagination of this set of books: “What do you suppose she does? You know, when she’s not a lunch lady?”
As the children in the book eventually learn, the Lunch Lady has super-powers and a host of super-gadgets. In the first book in the series, Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute, the Lunch Lady figures out that the substitute teacher is not really human. (Some thing I think most children suspect.) She can tell this when she watches every classroom on her giant-screen computer in the boiler room.
The Lunch Lady has a sidekick named Betty. I loved the spatula Betty made that turns into a hand-held helicopter. Each book has some new gadget. Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians is another favorite of mine. In it we find Hover Pizza and the Lingini Lasso.
One of our local librarians loves this book. It’s all about librarians who want to take over the world and wipe out all video games. There are great uses of classic children’s stories used as weapons. See what I mean? Lots of fun.
Even if you’re not in the 9 to 12 year old age range, you are still allowed to read and enjoy these books. This seventy-something checked these out fron my local library without having to give a phony excuse like “they’re for my grandchildren.” They’re too much fun to pass up. Go ahead and try them.