Big Nate is up to his usual silliness in this latest collection. Whether it is jamming with his band, Enslave the Mollusk; trying to get Jenny to notice him as a potential boyfriend; or writing 7 paragraphs about his New year's resolution to be less competitive (since he knows the rest of the class is only writing 4 paragraphs); Nate is happily unaware of his own shortcomings. We get to laugh with him and at him when he does things like get a detention on the way out of school because he is yelling in the halls about not having detention for once. The title refers to a scene in which Nate believes he has finally made it into the "in-crowd." Sadly, as happens to him so often, he is wrong. But who would really want to be part of that crowd when it is run by a dictatorial bully who tells you with whom you can be friends, and threatens to bust your face if you decide to leave his posse? I especially liked the part where Francis uses Nate to demonstrate how some people can remember one type of information, but not another. He quizzes Nate about all sorts of trivia and Nate knows every answer, but when he asks him a simple question from one of their science lessons, Nate has no idea what he's talking about.
Young readers who enjoy Nate's attitude and his attempts to win Jenny's heart, make some spending money, or train his dog will be delighted with this latest edition. More mature readers will still get a laugh from watching Nate try to bamboozle everyone around him, especially the adults in his life. His attempt to prove that Mr. Galvin needs to retire because he must be over 70, after all - he writes in cursive - is one such funny moment. Be prepared to laugh and think to yourself, "I know someone like that," while you're reading this book.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley