‘Big Nate: Say Good-Bye to Dork City’ is Filled With Humor and Life Lessons

Big Nate Cover
Big Nate cover. Image: Lincoln Peirce.

My boys, ages 10 and 12, wait with eager anticipation for the release of each new Big Nate book. Then, when they get their hands on it, they usually finish it as quickly as a glass of cold, refreshing iced tea on a hot summer’s day. Fast! And, they are just as satisfied too. Plus, I get to hear all the funny excerpts and reenactments of Nate’s latest adventures. I might even pick up the book to enjoy for myself. Reading Big Nate is definitely a family affair in our home.

Big Nate started as a syndicated comic strip in 1991 and has grown to include a whole series of illustrated novels and activity books. Author Lincoln Peirce is very skilled at telling stories so that you laugh while pondering some of life’s most difficult growing-up experiences.

Big Nate Collection
Big Nate collection. Photo: Maryann Goldman.

Recently, we were given the opportunity to review Big Nate: Say Good-Bye to Dork City, and Big Nate’s latest adventures are funnier and more meaningful than ever! One of our favorite comic strips from the book was set at Halloween and had us rolling with laughter. Nate’s dad, Marty, decides he should hand out a healthy alternative to the typical Halloween candy, but what seems like a good idea, turns into a disaster. Yuck! My Halloween will never be the same.

Big Nate sample
Big Nate sample. Image: Lincoln Peirce.

About the time we stopped laughing over everyone’s reaction to healthy Halloween treats, Marty decides Nate won’t miss a few pieces of Halloween candy from his huge stash. Wrong! Nate has rigged a motion sensor to detect anyone who dares to mess with his candy. “BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, INTRUDER! INTRUDER!” “All I wanted was a box of Milk Duds,” Marty says.

We own similar Spy Gear at our house, and it’s a real riot when the alarms sound and darts fly. I have to cover my ears, but the boys can take turns for hours setting up traps for mom, each other, and Kitty. You know the cat loves that!

Big Nate candy alarm
Big Nate candy alarm. Image: Lincoln Peirce

My son Joey says he relates to Big Nate because so many of the situations Nate finds himself in have actually happened to him. “A lot of things in this book series makes you want to reflect on yourself,” he says. “We have all protested against things like homework and cooties. Nate is really an ordinary kid just like me.”

While Big Nate books are certainly filled with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and great illustrations, there’s always an important underlying growing-up theme too. In Big Nate: Say Good-Bye to Dork City, Nate works to get into Marcus’ Posse, but once in, he realizes that he’d rather hang out with his true friends than be one of the cool kids. Good for Nate! I am sure many of us can relate to the hurt of being left out of the in-crowd or getting in and then realizing it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.

Additional Details

If you live in the Los Angeles area, Lincoln Peirce is going to be a part of the Drawn Together event on June 20. For more details, check out Randy Slavey’s post over on GeekDad. I wish we weren’t so far away in North Carolina, or we would absolutely be there.

Big Nate: Say Good-Bye to Dork City also includes a full-color pull-out poster of the book cover. Your kids are sure to love hanging it in their room.

Also, Big Nate has a fantastic website. You can read about the latest books, play games, share your doodles, sign up for the Big Nate newsletter, and read the latest comic strip over on GoComics. Did you know you can download the GoComics app on your iOS or Android device and read your favorite comics, like Big Nate, each day for free? We’ve installed it on our devices and are really enjoying keeping up with the daily Big Nate comic strip.

Big Nate: Say Good-Bye to Dork City is available on Amazon for $9.18.

GeekMom received this item for review purposes.