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Capture the Flag
Kate Messner


Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot (series #1) PDF Print E-mail

What You Need to Know:
• This is a lesser known series by the creator of Captain Underpants.
• I have seen this book turn many reluctant readers into full-fledged readers.
• The appeal to reluctant readers is not just the content, it is also its unique book size to text ratio. To
   explain, it looks like a regular chapter book in size, but it has very little text on each page. This helps because it gets
   older children out of the learn to read series (which are easy to spot by the size of the book), keeping their
   self-esteem intact without giving them a book they can't read.
• When people hear Capt. Underpants they think potty talk, etc., but this book doesn't have the usual fart jokes. It
   does have it's fair share of fighting off evil.
• This book deals with bullies and loneliness in a positive, age-approriate way.
Sweet Series Background:
Ricky is a little mouse who lives with his loving parents in Squeakyville. But Ricky is an "only mouse", so he is lonely. He's also little, so he gets picked on. Just outside of Squeakyville, Dr. Stinky McNasty is busy creating an evil giant robot with the express purpose of destroying Squeakyville. But the robot turns out to be a benevolent robot, and would rather chase butterflies. Ricky and the robot meet, and so begins their joint adventures. Click here for a complete listing of all the Ricky Ricotta books.
Sweet Book Summary:
Dr. Stinky McNasty has created a robot to destroy Squeakyville. Meanwhile, down in Squeakyville, Ricky Ricotta is busy fending off bullies and loneliness. One day Ricky spies Dr. McNasty yelling at his robot to be more menacing and evil; little Ricky steps in to protect the giant robot and a friendship is born. The robot comes to live with Ricky and his parents and helps the Ricottas and the townspeople fight off an inordinate number of unfortunate events set in motion by Dr. McNasty, including a pet lizard that becomes evil. In the act of saving the robot, Ricky has become a hero, thus taking care of that bullying problem. The bullies now carry his backpack to school instead of stealing it and putting it in trashcan.

I have personally seen this book turn at least 5 young (male) reluctant readers into enthusiastic readers. While I am quite aware this is not Shakespeare, it does have its place in the world of literacy. I am not recommending this be the only reading your young reader does, but it is light fun. Use it where you see fit.
Author: Dav Pilkey Illustrator: Martin Ontiveros Published: 2000, 111 pages
Themes: Adventure, Animals - Mice, Humor, Bullying, Books for Boys
Sweet Discussion Questions:
• What would you do if you were bullied?
• Is it ok to pick on someone?
• What would you do if you saw a friend being picked on?
• Have you ever felt lonely? What do you do when you feel that way?
• Do you have any friends who are only children? Are you an only child? Do you think it is better to be an only child?
If You Liked This Book, Try:
Ricky Ricotta's Giant Robot vs. the Mutant Mosquitoes from Mercury (Ricky Ricotta, No. 2), Dav Pilkey
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Voodoo Vultures from Venus (Ricky Ricotta, No. 3), Dav Pilkey
This recommendation was written by: Melissa Y.
Support Independent Book Shops: Click Here to Buy this Book on IndieBound

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