DIARY OF A 5TH GRADE OUTLAW: WHO IS THE BUCKS BANDIT? EPIC! ORIGINALS, By Gina Loveless, Andrea Bell, Andrews McMeel Publishing

In Book 3 of the Diary of a 5th Grade Outlaw illustrated novel series, it’s Halloween, and the merry misfits are in for more tricks than treats!

When Bonus Bucks start disappearing from teachers’ desks, Nadia immediately blames Wilu, the new kid in class. Robin launches “Mission Make Wilu a Friend” to figure out if he’s really the Bucks Bandit—but it’s hard to befriend someone who’s determined to go it alone! Will Robin win Wilu over and learn the truth about the disappearing bucks? 

Out September 2020

192 Pages


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

I’ve been reading and reviewing several Epic! Originals for Andrew McMeel Publishing and overall really enjoyed all the books they’ve so graciously provided for me to review and blog about. However, this is just one series I’ve struggled to get into. To begin with, I’ll list off the things I did enjoy.

Hardcover! Great for handling.

Concept: Finding books published more and more in the journal format has become second nature now, but at one time, publishing houses would have gasped loudly at such a thought. Their appeal is to reach that one age group that struggles with reading, or isn’t interested in it if given a choice between reading a book or playing video games. So very visually enticing.

Large print: The print in this book is very appealing making words clear and sentences easier to follow for those who struggle with reading. Also the line spacing allows a better visual guidance for wording and phrases and this style should also appeal to teachers and/tutors who use ruler guides or allows students to use their finger to guide their vision along the sentence. Excellent for special needs kids too.

Colorful illustrations: The illustrations are in a chalk-like format with large lines and flat one-dimensional characters depicted by bold colors and one perspective, that appears flat, and often crayon-like. I think the artwork is indicative of a large age range of children and could even be said to have been done by younger kids. Simple and useful to the story, but not distracting to the point of being over-bearing.

Presentation: Overall, the book is like those sold for journaling. The inside is in proper book formatting and very appealing. The illustrations do their job in complimenting the story and helping to propel it forward to the main character’s goal.

What I don’t like about the books in this series… you really should read the first one to understand who everyone is and more about the intent of the series as a whole. I can see many getting lost if they don’t begin with book one. The main character would benefit from your starting at the beginning so you can appreciate her development.

Now, frankly I can see this series widely loved by kids today, and in fact, my own neighbor’s kid absolutely swears by these books as being, “the best books to read.” They are a complete package, full of lovely enticements even for those who are reluctant to read or struggle to read.

Finally, I loved the book and its value and gave it:

Five star rating – shiny golden stars

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