I think My Life as a Cartoonist is a good story overall because it has a good pace and makes you want to always read more. Janet Tashjian and her partner, Jake Tashjian, have written and illustrated two other books in the series: My Life as a Book and My Life as a Stunt Boy, and there is a third and newest book in the series.
When Derek goes to school, a new student named Umberto arrives. At first, Umberto and Derek are like enemies to each other. Derek isn’t a great cartoonist but his dad helps him like a mentor. His dad tells Derek to put little things in his cartoons like Garfield and how he is obsessed with lasagna. After his dad teaches him, Derek wants to draw all night.
The next day Derek wants to challenge Umberto to a drawing contest. But when Derek gets to be a smart-mouth, Umberto tells Derek to fight him. Derek does it because he doesn’t want to be a chicken. When Ms. McCoddle comes out and sees the fight going on, she makes Derek and Umberto have detention for a week, and to make a comic together.
Later on the weekend at the dog park, Derek saw Umberto. After Derek saw his dog, Bodi, have a seizure, Umberto helped Derek get Bodi to his mom’s house and to the vet. The next school day when Derek tells his friends, they think he’s crazy. But after he stopped wanting to fight and made his own comic ideas, Derek’s friends wanted to be Umberto’s friend.
Umberto, Derek, and his friend Matt, went skateboarding down the hill. Then Derek had a great idea. To find out what Derek’s great idea is, read the book, My Life as a Cartoonist, by Janet Tashjian and Illustrated by Jake Tashjian.
I really thought this is one of the best books I have read in a long time. It was a really good story about giving people a second chance.