Reviews of The Graduation of Jake Moon by Barbara Park

The Graduation of Jake Moon

by Barbara Park

The Graduation of Jake Moon by Barbara Park X
The Graduation of Jake Moon by Barbara Park
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2000, 128 pages

    Paperback:
    Jun 2002, 128 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A funny, honest, and unforgettable portrait of a boy struggling to understand his grandfather's debilitating Alzheimer's disease and graduate to a more sympathetic and accepting relationship with his beloved grandfather.

Life hasn't been the same for Jake Moon since his grandfather, Skelly, got Alzheimer's disease. At first Jake thought, no big deal, it was just a disease that made old people forget where they put their car keys. But he was wrong. It is a big deal. A very big deal.

For one thing, he can't invite friends over because Skelly might do something embarrassing like tell them to zipper their "briskets," or Jake might reach into the freezer for a can of frozen orange juice and find Skelly's frozen pajamas there instead. He used to love spending time with his grandfather...but now he is mostly stuck fastening the Velcro on Skelly's sneakers, or wiping rice off his chin. It's like all of a sudden he's the grown-up, and Skelly's the kid. How can the one person Jake could always count on be fading as fast as -- well, as the moon.

Barbara Park, one of today's most popular and versatile authors, has created a funny, honest, and unforgettable portrait of a boy struggling to understand this debilitating disease and graduate to a more sympathetic and accepting relationship with his beloved grandfather.

Chapter 1: The Twist

There are these three eighth-grade boys. They've just gotten out of school for the day. And they're about to take off in different directions, when they notice something going on in the trash Dumpster at the other end of the parking lot.

They're still pretty far away from it, but they can see an old man sitting on the edge of the thing. His back is facing them, and he's just sort of balancing himself there. Staring down into the bottom of the Dumpster.

The boys watch him for a second. And then one of them starts grinning. And he cups his hands around his mouth and shouts out, "Hey! Don't jump, Pops! You've got everything to live for!"

Then one of the other boys yells, "Yeah! Plus I heard the food is much better at the Dumpster up the street!"

So after that, both kids totally crack up. And it becomes this contest, sort of, to see who can holler out the funniest insults at the old guy.

Like the first kid asks the old man if he went to P.U. ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The book has some funny moments, but it's one of Park's darker, more poignant creations; readers expecting a Skinnybones-type laugh-a-thon will be sadly disappointed. Nonetheless, Park has produced a perceptive book that should prove useful to children who must navigate similar waters. (Fiction, Ages 9-12)

Publishers Weekly
As she did in Mick Harte Was Here, Park introduces an uncommonly sympathetic and articulate young narrator who lightly relays a story with tragic underpinnings. Ages 9-12.

School Library Journal
This short and moving novel deals with his relationship with his grandfather as Skelly's Alzheimer's slowly worsens. This novel demonstrates the horror of Alzheimer's disease, both to the afflicted person and to the loved ones, and it is written in an accessible style that will appeal to a wide audience. Grades 4-6.

Reader Reviews

Alexis

Review of Jake Moon's Graduation
It is a very good book.
Camden Williams

Very Good
I thought this was the best book I have read in a long time. it was a sweet book.
Kaylon

Love this book and recamed it to everyone
Hi I'm an 6th grader. When I started reading this book I couldn't stop, it was just that good. On some parts I started to cry, it was so sad but at the same time fun and happy. And again I'm a 6th grader and 11and a half I recomend this book to ...   Read More
Mary

Loved the book
I'm 13 years old and we had read this book in class. Every time my teacher said it was time to read the book I was very exited. It was an amazing book and I kinda felt I could relate to it somehow. Now we have to do a project on the project on the ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Graduation of Jake Moon, try these:

  • Zebra Forest jacket

    Zebra Forest

    by Adina Rishe Gewirtz

    Published 2014

    About this book

    In an extraordinary debut novel, an escaped fugitive upends everything two siblings think they know about their family, their past, and themselves.

  • Ida B jacket

    Ida B

    by Katherine Hannigan

    Published 2007

    About this book

    'This insightful, seemingly intuitive first novel digs deep inside the soul of 9-year-old narrator Ida B Applewood....Hannigan shows a remarkable understanding of a stubborn child's perspective in her honest, poignant portrayal of loss and rebirth. Ages 9-up.'

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: If I Survive You
    If I Survive You
    by Jonathan Escoffery
    In If I Survive You, author Jonathan Escoffery portrays a family falling apart with grace. Main ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    by Sidik Fofana
    'Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?' ...
  • Book Jacket: Fire Season
    Fire Season
    by Leyna Krow
    Fire Season is a thoroughly enjoyable novel that touches upon multiple genres and themes. It ...
  • Book Jacket: The Story of Russia
    The Story of Russia
    by Orlando Figes
    In The Story of Russia, British historian and writer Orlando Figes shares panoramic and ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y Can't G H A

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.