“EllRay Jakes, the Recess King” by Sally Warner. Illustrated by Brian Biggs.
This is book 8 in the series of the adventures of EllRay Jakes, an 8 year old third grader at Oak Glenn Elementary School in California.
EllRay Jakes lives in the suburbs and needs spare best friends because he is down to only 1 ½ friends. I know that having a ½ friend sounds weird, but his friend Corey is always at swim practice, so he is not around much. It was his annoying 4 year old sister, Alfie, that pointed out that EllRay needs more friends. She had a play she was performing on Friday, so EllRay has 5 days to get someone to go with him.
EllRay has 2 main options for friends — Jason and Diego. Jason is the class clown that performs a lot of funny pranks, mostly at recess and at lunch. Diego likes to read and has a personality that EllRay thinks he can loosen up. EllRay also has 3 other friend choices named Major, Nate, and Marco, but something goes wrong (I won’t tell tell you what!), and Marco (Polo?) is the only hope left for EllRay. EllRay ends up trying some odd schemes to try and win friends – for example, the curse of the mummy zombie as well as fighting with 7 fellow classmates during lunch.
The book is wacky, a fast read (only 166 pages), and easy to understand. The black and white illustrations in the book are simple but down to the point. I would recommend this book for kids aged 5-8. I found that the book went by really fast because the adventures pulled you into the story, and you wanted to flip to the next page. If you like this book, make sure you check out the previous 7 books in the EllRay Jakes series (each are a different color for a book cover). Finally, you can also check out 6 books about his classmate, Emma, also written by Sally Warner.