EllRay Jakes is Not a Chicken
Written by Sally Warner
Illustrated by Jamie Harper
Reviewed by Spencer P. (age 8)
EllRay Jakes is Not a Chicken by Sally Warner and illustrated by Jamie Harper is an outstanding book. EllRay is the smallest boy in Ms. Sanchez’s third grade class. In the beginning, EllRay is being picked on by a boy named Jared Matthews and his sidekick Stanley Washington. EllRay can’t remember how the war started but their supreme goal is to make him cry in front of the whole class. EllRay is goofing around in class and not paying attention. He is making silly faces because Annie Pat, a girl that sits near him, tells him to. Ms. Sanchez calls EllRay’s dad to tell him that EllRay is getting in trouble. EllRay’s dad makes him a deal that if he can be good for one whole week he will take him to Disneyland. However Jared challenges him to a fight that could cost him the trip if his dad finds out. Read the book to find out if EllRay gets to go to Disneyland.
I really like this book because EllRay learns how to stand up for himself even though Jared and Stanley are bullying him. Every day EllRay makes progress toward sticking up for himself. First EllRay defends himself against Stanley. Stanley tells him to go sit with the girls and EllRay says, “Why don’t you go sit with the girls Stanley-ella,” as if he was the girl. He also defends himself against Jared. Jared “accidentally” spills milk on EllRay. EllRay doesn’t back down and “accidentally” steps on Jared’s sandwich. This book has hilarious pictures. For example, one shows a picture where EllRay drew Jared with green freckles, spiked hair, and sharp, crooked teeth. He passed it to Heather Patton. EllRay drew the picture to get back at Jared for bullying him every day. Jared gets really mad but at that moment, the principal comes down the hall. Jared lets go of EllRay and says, “I won’t touch you during school today, tattletale EllRay, but you better meet me in Pennypacker Park right after school, if you know what’s good for you.” Throughout the book, I felt bad and anxious for EllRay because if he isn’t good he won’t get to go to Disneyland and that would be bad. Jared and Stanley are constantly picking on him, but he doesn’t want to be a pushover. He is worried that Jared and Stanley will hate him even more if he’s perfect for an entire week. I love reading about the funny things he does, but I still worry about his trip. Those are the reasons I really enjoyed this book.
I would recommend this book to third to fifth graders because you can learn how to solve your problems just like EllRay tried to do. This book also teaches you to believe in yourself. I like how the author made each chapter more entertaining and I really wanted to know what was going to happen next. The illustrations are simple, but descriptive and interesting. I give this book five out of five stars.