A class full of lizards by Alison Hart

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In the sequel to School Rules are Optional Jesse and his friends are back for the end of Year six and the move to high school.

It's my first day back at school after the holidays and I've already got three burning questions:
1) When is my family's disgusting diet going to end?
2) How will I finish my group project on time?
3) Why is my best friend Alex suddenly not talking to me?

If that's not bad enough, the classroom is overrun with lizards. At least things can't get worse, right? (Publisher)

I haven’t read the first book but I quickly found Jesse and his life outlook to be engaging and funny.  He is suffering through the worst health kick a mum could impose on her family and to try to get a decent feed at least once a day he joins the early morning cross country squad.  Jesse and his best friend Alex are drifting apart and there is a first year student at the school who has decided to shadow the boys rather than playing with classmates.  And then there are the lizards!!

Jesse is a likeable character that children will either relate to or see their friends in, he is empathic, a bit of a worrier and generally kind and considerate.  He has similar struggles to most children and the author deals with these in believable ways that would help other children to work through these issues and find realistic solutions.

This book focusses on the last two terms of year six with all the usual ups and downs children experience at the end of their primary school years and the unknown of high school, especially when there are no guarantees your friends will be going to the same school or in your classes. 

Alison Hart manages to make Jesse’s trials entertaining and relatable without being patronizing and for this reason I think this book will become a favourite in the upper primary years.  As I stated I haven’t read the first book, but it is now on my to-read list as I enjoyed this book so much.  I want to know where Jesse’s story started and get to know the other characters better.  I would recommend this book to children and to teachers as a read aloud or class novel. 

Themes: Friendship, Humour, School.

Mhairi Alcorn