Title: My Life as a Ninja
Author: Janet Tashjian
Illustrator: Jake Tashjian
Published: April 11, 2017
Theme: Friendship and Mystery
Character Origin: Human
Book Type: Middle School | Pages: 241
Ages: 9-11 | Book Level: 5.3 | Lexile Measure: 850L
Synopsis: Derek Fallon has expanded his taste in cartoons to the world of manga and anime. Together with his friends Carly, Matt, and Umberto, Derek has fun learning about all the cool aspects of ninja culture. When someone starts vandalizing their school with graffiti of a mischievous troll-like figure, these ninjas-in-training are convinced they’ll be able to crack the case. But it turns out that being a ninja is a lot more work than they thought, and this adventure brings about new opportunities for Derek to embarrass himself. For once, can he be the hero that saves the day?
This is a great middle school book. It is the sixth book in “The My Life” series. It is quite relatable for a middle schooler–especially boys. I really liked that there was a girl included in the group of friends. Her character adds a little balance to what could have been a male dominated reading experience. Not that would have been a bad thing, but she adds a layer that opens the door for female readers to appreciate the text as well.
The cartoons were a cute addition throughout the story. The text was easy to read and the storylines that ran simultaneously were quite engaging. This is definitely a book series that my middle schooler would enjoy. I would like to read at least one more book in the series to compare. This book was reminiscent of “Captain Underpants” and I can see the appeal to a sixth or seventh grader.