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Review: Mr. Wolf’s Class by Aron Nels Steinke

Mr. Wolf's Class

Mr. Wolf’s Class
By Aron Nels Steinke

Graphix (Scholastic)

ISBN: 9781338047684
$18.99
Grades 2-4
Out Now

Find it at:
Schuler Books | Your Library

Teaching (and school librarianship) is one of the lucky rare professions where every year there is a sense of renewal. New year, fresh start. There is no fresher start than being a first time teacher, or new student. They say write what you know, and 5th grade teacher Aron Nels Steinke has created a graphic novel about a 4th grade classroom that quickly feels like an old friend.

Mr. Wolf's Class 1

Mr. Wolf has a lot of work to do. It’s his first year teaching 4th grade at Hazelwood Elementary and he’s starting from scratch. Classroom setup, student culture – it’s his first go-round at all of it. It’s a new year for his assorted animal students too, of course. For rabbit Margot, it’s the first day at a brand new school. The day is full of incident, as personalities clash and mesh, and one student turns up missing.

Mr. Wolf's Class 2

This book captures the first day of school excitement and anxiety in a way that only an insider would know. When I learned Steinke is a teacher by day, it all made sense. Empathy is shown for both sides of the teacher/student coin. The lack of a “villain” makes the whole endeavor more authentic, as characters test the first day of school waters.

Mr. Wolf's Class 3

The comics style artwork is concise, the panel work is clear. The palette is soft yet always keeps visual interest high with always-changing background hues.

This is the first book in a planned series, and like all good school stories, readers will find Mr. Wolf’s class to be a sturdy mirror, reflecting their experience.

Review copy from the publisher.

Watch the trailer for Mr. Wolf’s Class:

Watch Aron Nels Steinke talk about the book:

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

Comments

  1. Tracey Elrod says:

    I loved this book. I had to show my son Beckham the picture of Margot’s t-shirt from her old school—his name was scrawled across her belly. ?

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