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Thunder Boy Jr.

Cover of Thunder Boy Jr.

Thunder Boy Jr.

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Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that's all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn't mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he's done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.

But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name...a name that is sure to light up the sky.

National Book Award-winner Sherman Alexie's lyrical text and Caldecott Honor-winner Yuyi Morales's striking and beautiful illustrations celebrate the special relationship between father and son.

Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that's all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn't mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he's done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.

But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name...a name that is sure to light up the sky.

National Book Award-winner Sherman Alexie's lyrical text and Caldecott Honor-winner Yuyi Morales's striking and beautiful illustrations celebrate the special relationship between father and son.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 8, 2016
    Echoes of Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian resonate in this vibrant first-person tale, illustrated in a stormy palette by Morales (Niño Wrestles the World). “I am the only Thunder Boy who has ever lived,” says the young narrator. “Or so you would think. But I am named after my dad. He is Thunder Boy Smith Sr., and I am...” Here, his mother pops in from the right lower margin to complete the sentence: “Thunder Boy Smith Jr.” The boy confides that his father’s nickname, Big Thunder, sounds impressive, while his own nickname, Little Thunder, “makes me sound like a burp or a fart.” After confessing “I hate my name!” with a chorus of screaming snakes, wolves, and bears driving the point home, Thunder Boy proposes several profound or funny alternatives, including “Star Boy,” “Old Toys Are Awesome,” and “Drums, Drums, and More Drums” because he “love powwow dancing.” In the end, his father understands his ambivalence and bestows a new name, although some readers may wish the boy, having spent several pages trying on new identities, had come up with it himself. Regardless, Alexie’s first picture book showcases his ear for dialogue and sideways sense of humor, and Morales uses voice balloons and other comics elements to complement the characters’ dynamic poses. Thunder Boy’s energy is irresistible, as is this expansive portrait of a Native American family. Ages 3–6. Author’s agent: Nancy Stauffer, Nancy Stauffer Associates. Illustrator’s agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency.

  • AudioFile Magazine Author Sherman Alexie's son, David, energetically portrays the dynamic Thunder Boy Jr., a boy who believes his name makes him sound "like a burp or a fart." He imagines all kinds of imaginative name alternatives with quirky rationales--"Old Toys Are Awesome," for example, would depict his penchant for garage sales. Alexie's playful reading adds emphasis to Yuyi Morales's animated illustrations (included in a PDF). His rhythms emphasize the poetic writing. Sherman Alexie joins forces with his son at the audio's end. His deep, sonorous voice reflects the powerful caring of a father who seeks happiness for his son. The two voices harmonize in a perfect climax, mirroring the shared love of two protagonists who together make "amazing weather" that "lights up the sky." S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
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    Hachette Audio
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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