Booklist (June 1, 2011 (Vol. 107, No. 19))
Grades 2-4. Lancelot Raymond Jakes is admittedly the smallest student in his third-grade class—even counting the girls. Trouble seems to find EllRay at school, even when he is trying his hardest to be good for his teacher. And he is certainly trying his hardest this week: if EllRay cannot behave, his father will cancel their upcoming trip to Disneyland. To make EllRay’s week even more difficult, he inexplicably finds himself involved in a “3-way boys’ war” with the two biggest, baddest boys in school, Stanley and Jared, who are intent on humiliating EllRay any way they can. The issue of bullying is addressed responsibly but without many of the tiresome buzzwords and trite approaches often used by adults who don’t fully appreciate the need to save face on the playground. Warner creates a humorous voice for EllRay, amplified by Harper’s winsome illustrations, that is sweet, authentic, and ideal for reluctant readers. Fans will be eager for the next installment in the series.