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Niagara Falls, Or Does It?

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Inspired by the true life experiences of Henry Winkler, whose undiagnosed dyslexia made him a classic childhood underachiever, the Hank Zipzer series is about the high-spirited and funny adventures of a boy with learning differences. It's science project time in Ms. Adolf's class. This is good news and bad news for Hank-he loves science, but he hates the report part. So H Inspired by the true life experiences of Henry Winkler, whose undiagnosed dyslexia made him a classic childhood underachiever, the Hank Zipzer series is about the high-spirited and funny adventures of a boy with learning differences. It's science project time in Ms. Adolf's class. This is good news and bad news for Hank-he loves science, but he hates the report part. So Hank turns to TV to take his mind off things. But when the program directory scrolls by too quickly for Hank to know what's on, he decides to take apart the cable box to try to slow down the crawl. Great! Now Hank has found the perfect science project! But what he wasn't counting on was his sister's pet iguana laying eighteen eggs in the disassembled cable box. How is Hank going to get out of this one? Illustrated by Carol Heyer.


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Inspired by the true life experiences of Henry Winkler, whose undiagnosed dyslexia made him a classic childhood underachiever, the Hank Zipzer series is about the high-spirited and funny adventures of a boy with learning differences. It's science project time in Ms. Adolf's class. This is good news and bad news for Hank-he loves science, but he hates the report part. So H Inspired by the true life experiences of Henry Winkler, whose undiagnosed dyslexia made him a classic childhood underachiever, the Hank Zipzer series is about the high-spirited and funny adventures of a boy with learning differences. It's science project time in Ms. Adolf's class. This is good news and bad news for Hank-he loves science, but he hates the report part. So Hank turns to TV to take his mind off things. But when the program directory scrolls by too quickly for Hank to know what's on, he decides to take apart the cable box to try to slow down the crawl. Great! Now Hank has found the perfect science project! But what he wasn't counting on was his sister's pet iguana laying eighteen eggs in the disassembled cable box. How is Hank going to get out of this one? Illustrated by Carol Heyer.

30 review for Niagara Falls, Or Does It?

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I gave this book the ranking of "It was amazing," not because it was the greatest piece of literature I have ever read, but because of what it does for students with learning disabilities. Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver have helped to put words to the feelings that many children have. The fact that Hank is a fourth grader helps students not feel that this is a "baby book." These are excellent books to be READ TO struggling students or for struggling students to listen to the audio on cassette or C I gave this book the ranking of "It was amazing," not because it was the greatest piece of literature I have ever read, but because of what it does for students with learning disabilities. Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver have helped to put words to the feelings that many children have. The fact that Hank is a fourth grader helps students not feel that this is a "baby book." These are excellent books to be READ TO struggling students or for struggling students to listen to the audio on cassette or CD. My third grade godson is dyslexic. He is reading independently at an early first grade level, but his listening comprehension is advanced, at a fourth grade level. I recommended that his parents read the Hank Zipper books to him, after hearing Henry Winkler speak about his own learning problems. My godson loves the stories and the exaggerated humor. It helps to make him and other struggling students realize they are not alone and they aren't simply "not trying hard enough." I heard that at book signings, Henry writes "There is greatness in you," in each book he signs. I can't think of anything better to tell all children. This book series is also important for other students to read in order to help them uderstand and empathize with classmates.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Qt

    I listened to the audio version of this, and found it to be a really fun, humorous story--and also inspiring and upbeat. I think I would have liked the story anyway, but Henry Winkler's energetic, hilarious reading really made it for me :-) I listened to the audio version of this, and found it to be a really fun, humorous story--and also inspiring and upbeat. I think I would have liked the story anyway, but Henry Winkler's energetic, hilarious reading really made it for me :-)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I've read a few of the Here's Hank books, and really enjoyed them. So, I thought I would give the actual series a try. The first book, is just as adorable as the Here's Hank books. The children are a little older, their in the 4th grade here, but they are still the same characters. Hank is still hilarious, I love that little guy, I feel, he could actually be my real son, if I ever have one. His learning challenges and the way he describes them, reminds me a lot of my time in school. Just like Ha I've read a few of the Here's Hank books, and really enjoyed them. So, I thought I would give the actual series a try. The first book, is just as adorable as the Here's Hank books. The children are a little older, their in the 4th grade here, but they are still the same characters. Hank is still hilarious, I love that little guy, I feel, he could actually be my real son, if I ever have one. His learning challenges and the way he describes them, reminds me a lot of my time in school. Just like Hank, when I was in the fourth grade, I was tested as well and learned I also had learning challenges. But unlike Hank, my fourth grade teacher was a gem, it was because of her, I was tested and learned of my challenges. Hank's teacher, Ms. Adolf, is a terrible teacher for Hank, he needs a teacher that will work with him and help him understand his school work better.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Smith

    As an adult, I found the "funny" scenes a bit contrived, but my son liked them very much. Adults are given a good degree of complexity, and fathers and mothers are both involved in their children's lives. It is very refreshing to see fathers dropping off or picking up their kids from school while mothers work. There is also some mild stereotyping in the character of the grade 4 teacher, but the overall message was so good that it is hard to find fault. (This image of the teacher might change as As an adult, I found the "funny" scenes a bit contrived, but my son liked them very much. Adults are given a good degree of complexity, and fathers and mothers are both involved in their children's lives. It is very refreshing to see fathers dropping off or picking up their kids from school while mothers work. There is also some mild stereotyping in the character of the grade 4 teacher, but the overall message was so good that it is hard to find fault. (This image of the teacher might change as the series progresses. I've only read two books so far.) The bully character covers two stereotypes: he is not just mean, he is also the "keener" who goes out of his way to impress his teacher. From what I've read so far,I think the series could do without this character, but I assume he is there because the authors feel kids will encounter this type of person at some point in their lives. Hank gets sent to the principal's office and admonished by his father because it is assumed he is not focusing on his schoolwork. It turns out that he has a "learning challenge." The series seems to be about the discovery of this challenge by the adults in Hank's life. There is a strong message about friendship in this series, as Hank talks openly about how much he can count on his friends. Hank also has a very strong relationship with his grandfather. Whenever I read a series like this, I like to get my son's take on it. He enjoyed the first two books very much and is looking forward to reading more.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Grosser

    I was so excited when I found out that Henry Winkler narrates the first four kid's books he wrote in the series about Hank Zipzer: The Mostly True Confessions of the World's Best Underachiever. I love Henry's personality and if you've ever seen him tell a story on TV then you know how wonderful he is at storytelling. This book also has a very important message about being different and dealing with learning challenges. I don't know if I'll read all 17 books in the series, but I will definitely l I was so excited when I found out that Henry Winkler narrates the first four kid's books he wrote in the series about Hank Zipzer: The Mostly True Confessions of the World's Best Underachiever. I love Henry's personality and if you've ever seen him tell a story on TV then you know how wonderful he is at storytelling. This book also has a very important message about being different and dealing with learning challenges. I don't know if I'll read all 17 books in the series, but I will definitely listen to the 4 he narrates.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    Anyone who has been reading my reviews for a while knows I'm a fan of classic television; I've mentioned it countless times, even on here, despite this being a book review website. So, when I saw this series at a garage sale, and that it was written by the one and only Henry Winkler, I decided to pick it up...and I was glad I did! This first book reminds me of the kind of stories I grew up on: Lizzie McGuire, the comic strip FoxTrot, Judy Blume's Fudge books, etc. Despite this book being targete Anyone who has been reading my reviews for a while knows I'm a fan of classic television; I've mentioned it countless times, even on here, despite this being a book review website. So, when I saw this series at a garage sale, and that it was written by the one and only Henry Winkler, I decided to pick it up...and I was glad I did! This first book reminds me of the kind of stories I grew up on: Lizzie McGuire, the comic strip FoxTrot, Judy Blume's Fudge books, etc. Despite this book being targeted at younger audiences, older readers who are young at heart may enjoy it, too.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    This book should be required reading for all teachers,students, and most parents (those who shouldn't read are those whose kids have no struggles in school and get all "A's" on second thought perhaps they need to read it too...to have an understanding of what others go through) This book probably would be considered to be a young adult (or younger) book, however, the story is for everyone. Hank is a smart kid and the book says he is creative and funny. He wants to do well, but has challenges. Ma This book should be required reading for all teachers,students, and most parents (those who shouldn't read are those whose kids have no struggles in school and get all "A's" on second thought perhaps they need to read it too...to have an understanding of what others go through) This book probably would be considered to be a young adult (or younger) book, however, the story is for everyone. Hank is a smart kid and the book says he is creative and funny. He wants to do well, but has challenges. Many claim he is lazy and trouble finds Hank. (reminds me of Jonathan Mooney and how he talks about students who are called lazy/crazy) Hank has trouble with organization and seems to have difficulty keeping track of things....like school supplies. First day in 4th grade, the teacher gives Hank an impossible assignment. He needs to write an essay, a FIVE paragraph essay about his summer vacation. Hank has great difficulty getting his thoughts on paper and decides to do a project instead. He makes a working model of Niagara Falls (how could he not follow directions???) The model fails and water runs all over the classroom. Hank gets detention and ends up with the music teacher. The music teacher is the teacher every kid should have and helps Hank to discover that his brain has plenty of good information in it and some creative ways to get that information out. All kids should have a Mr. Rock in their lives. The end of the book, Hank talking to his grandpa...wise man. Grandpa says, "We're all different and that makes us great.....Take pickes there are big ones, little ones, bumpy ones, bread and butter, dill.....the point is they're all different, and they're all deliciousto someone."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Aliana

    Would you like to read a great book full of adventure than you should read Hank Zipper this summer, its short funny and really intresting .It has its boring parts but over all it was great.I do recommend this book to ages 9-12

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This is a book with several plots: will Hank, starting fourth grade with his friends Ashley and Frankie, be able to dazzle Ms. Adolf with his project on "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" so she forgets that it is not a 5 paragraph essay? Will Frankie, Ashley and Hank be able to pull a small furry creature out of a hat at their premiere magic show at the Rock 'N Bowl? Will we find out why, despite his amazing creativity and memory for facts, Hank doesn't do well in school, and is often late and This is a book with several plots: will Hank, starting fourth grade with his friends Ashley and Frankie, be able to dazzle Ms. Adolf with his project on "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" so she forgets that it is not a 5 paragraph essay? Will Frankie, Ashley and Hank be able to pull a small furry creature out of a hat at their premiere magic show at the Rock 'N Bowl? Will we find out why, despite his amazing creativity and memory for facts, Hank doesn't do well in school, and is often late and in trouble? Although I've put this on my middle school bookshelf, it is more appropriately an elementary book. It should be easy reading for a 5th or 6th grader, and it is short, though it often seems that brevity was achieved at the cost of too much telling rather than showing. Additionally, some of the characters are comlete cliches (the bully, Nick and the principal, Mr. Love are notable examples). However, Hank, his friends, his grandfather, and Mr. Rock, the music teacher at his school are likeable characters. Some of the situations in the book will be interesting to children, and this would be a book to recommend to kids who want to read something like Jack Gantos's Joey Pigza books.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl is busier irl atm.

    For a kid who can directly empathize with Hank, this is a five star read. It's a bit too juvenile & silly for me and I am not excited to reader further in the series. Otoh, I do ache for kids who don't get diagnosed until 4th-grade (or later), who try hard but are always in the principal's office anyway. So I am glad this series is available. (I think I prefer Joey Pigza, though.) For a kid who can directly empathize with Hank, this is a five star read. It's a bit too juvenile & silly for me and I am not excited to reader further in the series. Otoh, I do ache for kids who don't get diagnosed until 4th-grade (or later), who try hard but are always in the principal's office anyway. So I am glad this series is available. (I think I prefer Joey Pigza, though.)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ramona

    Entertaining book from "The Fonz" with a great message regarding the differences in how people learn and how we treat those who don't fit the mold. Entertaining book from "The Fonz" with a great message regarding the differences in how people learn and how we treat those who don't fit the mold.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    It was OK kind of funny and boring I don't recommend this book if you like adventure It was OK kind of funny and boring I don't recommend this book if you like adventure

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I started reading this book to my seven year old a few days ago and we finished it last night. It was a really fun read! Hank and his friends are very likable characters. I love their loyalty to each other as well as their creativity. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and also reading Here’s Hank when he’s in second grade.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I was introduced to this book several years ago when looking for potential therapeutic books in my work as a psychologist. I was informed that this would be a great book to work with kids with ADHD or other learning challenges. I was not informed, however, that this story was actually a series of chapter books, and while the included title is only one of these stories, there are upwards of 17 additional stories in the Hank Zipzer series. I'm glad this is the case ,as I not only enjoyed listening I was introduced to this book several years ago when looking for potential therapeutic books in my work as a psychologist. I was informed that this would be a great book to work with kids with ADHD or other learning challenges. I was not informed, however, that this story was actually a series of chapter books, and while the included title is only one of these stories, there are upwards of 17 additional stories in the Hank Zipzer series. I'm glad this is the case ,as I not only enjoyed listening to Hank's stories of his travails, but his relatibility for kids with learning differences. In this first installment, the reader is introduced to Hank and his family, and knowledge that he is facing an upcoming writing assignment that particularly challenges his academic abilities. His family demonstrates the common assumptions of many families of children with learning differences; it is often assumed that he is "lazy," and is constantly compared to the high-achieving sibling. What also makes this story great (and relatable) is that his own high intellect shows through in his development of an alternative assignment, although possibly not thought out effectively, in demonstrating his knowledge in a different way. Following Hank's journey through his determination to show his abilities, and the subsequent problems he faces in his actions, make this character and his world highly relatable to other kids with these similar problems in academic performance. It was also great to see a teacher in Hank's school recognize his unique way of learning and describe it in a way that would make sense of any other 10-year old reader to recognize in him- or herself. Of course, Henry Winkler was half of the team developing this character and his story, which was developed upon many of his own experiences with learning differences. The power of having this experience discussed in a fun, lighthearted, and direct way is incalculable for kids whom struggle with these same problems and have few places to find solace and understanding in just what makes them so different. More importantly, it demonstrates normalization of this phenomena, and allows kids to find some of these answers independently that neither shames them nor focuses on the differences as a problem, but rather a strength and asset. I highly recommend this book, and will likely state that this would extend to the rest of this series, to other families with school-age (and even older) children with ADHD, learning difficulties, or any other features that make them feel isolated or stand out in what may often feel like an alienating manner. This character solidifies that everyone's unique qualities have significant strengths and reframe what can be a potentially crippling way of functioning into a more realistic, positive way of being that holds high value.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marla

    2.5 stars. Recommend for a child with ADD or ADHD or a classmate or a sibling. I am just not into elementary boy humor. This wasn't bad, but it's just not good. I think I will try listening, if I decide to try another book in the series. Abandoned-series: after 2 books. I read the first book & listened to the second book & now I'm done. Likes: * I hope that if Hank does have a learning challenge like ADHD, they can help him preferably without medication * Hank's friends, Frankie & Ashley, were supp 2.5 stars. Recommend for a child with ADD or ADHD or a classmate or a sibling. I am just not into elementary boy humor. This wasn't bad, but it's just not good. I think I will try listening, if I decide to try another book in the series. Abandoned-series: after 2 books. I read the first book & listened to the second book & now I'm done. Likes: * I hope that if Hank does have a learning challenge like ADHD, they can help him preferably without medication * Hank's friends, Frankie & Ashley, were supportive, loyal and endearing, great friends * Mr. Rock, the music teacher, was phenomenal * Papa Pete, Hank's grandfather, was involved and sympathetic * Could be good for a child with ADHD or ADD to have a character to identify with * Hank is creative and not lazy or stupid, but has a problem in doing what's asked of him even when it isn't related to his sitting still or paying attention. Hank chooses to do what he wants and is surprised when it isn't applauded or appreciated (view spoiler)[ * Glad the Majik 3 magic show went on and was a success (hide spoiler)] Dislikes: * Parents who hold up a sibling as better...terrible parenting! * Hank's parents tried, but they are clearly exasperated with Hank * Trouble-making boy always being the good guy and all the adults being the bad guys on the side of the slimy bully * Gotta hate Nick McKelty: greedy, mean, kiss up, bragging bully (view spoiler)[ * When you refuse to do the assignment for a class, how can you be indignant when the teacher isn't impressed? * Glad there is a reason and Hank isn't a bad kid, but it kind of justifies disruptive behavior, bad choices, tardiness, and not doing assignments, because you just are misunderstood or everyone is against you. Worry that kids will see it as a justification not recognizing that Hank has a problem. (hide spoiler)]

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    Hank Zipzer has trouble in school and when fourth grade begins, his class is given an assignment that he is sure he cannot do. Ms. Adolf assigns a five paragraph essay on their summer vacation. He struggles, he tries, he contemplates...but, then he decides to use his creativity and create a 'talking essay'. After all, he knows tons of facts about Niagara Falls, his summer vacation destination with his family, he just has a difficult time getting those facts down with pencil and paper. He creates Hank Zipzer has trouble in school and when fourth grade begins, his class is given an assignment that he is sure he cannot do. Ms. Adolf assigns a five paragraph essay on their summer vacation. He struggles, he tries, he contemplates...but, then he decides to use his creativity and create a 'talking essay'. After all, he knows tons of facts about Niagara Falls, his summer vacation destination with his family, he just has a difficult time getting those facts down with pencil and paper. He creates a magnificent model of Niagara falls with a turkey pan, toilet paper tubes, and water. It all goes well until it springs a leak and Ms. Adolf is soaked! He gets detention and is grounded. Luckily for Hank, Mr. Rock, the new music teacher is his detention teacher. Together, they struggle through the essay and do a bunch of cool things, too. Mr. Rock recognizes that Hank may have a learning disability when no one else did. Hank's parents really don't believe it, but Mr. Rock and Papa Pete believe in Hank. Good thing there are compassionate people around who take the time to discover how everyone is wired a little differently and learn in their own way and their own speed. Niagara Falls, Or Does It? is full of humor, empathy, and confidence building...made even more special by the author's own struggles with dyslexia. Just having listened to 'The Fonz' speak at Anderson's 12th Annual Children's Literature Conference, I got a sense of what drives this friendly, humorous, caring man and why his passion is helping all children achieve what they are meant to do.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    It is the first day of 4th grade and the loud speaker in the classroom crackles on. Over the PA system comes the voice of principal Love "Hank Zipzer! report to Principal Love's office at once." The classroom gets very quiet and as Hank leaves the room the loud speaker crackles to life again. "And don't you dare stop in the bathroom, young man." When Hank arrives in the Principal's office he receives a reprimand for being late to school. Oh no, Hank is in trouble already and it is just the first d It is the first day of 4th grade and the loud speaker in the classroom crackles on. Over the PA system comes the voice of principal Love "Hank Zipzer! report to Principal Love's office at once." The classroom gets very quiet and as Hank leaves the room the loud speaker crackles to life again. "And don't you dare stop in the bathroom, young man." When Hank arrives in the Principal's office he receives a reprimand for being late to school. Oh no, Hank is in trouble already and it is just the first day of school. Hank returns to class just as his teacher is announcing the assignment. Write 5 paragraphs about "what you did this summer". Hank groans to himself. He cannot write. True he did go to Niagara Falls during the summer, and he has told his bet friends, Frankie and Ashley, great stories about his trip. But try as hard as he can he just cannot put the words on paper. So Hank comes up with an idea and Frankie and Ashley help him. Together they build a scale model of Niagara Falls. Hank takes it to school the day the assigned 5 paragraphs are due. He begins to demonstrate Niagara Falls and provide lots of useful information about the Falls when Principal Love enters the room and Frankie whispers in his ear that the project has "sprung a leak". Soon the room is covered in water and paper machier. 1. what will happen to Hank now? 2. will he ever be able to write a story? 3. will he ever be on time for school? If you ever feel like you can do nothing right this is a great book to pick up and read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Rhodes

    Literature Requirement Award Winner – 2015 Blue Stem Nominee Hank Zipper the main character a misunderstood to be little bit of a rebel rouser. He is called into the principals office his very first day of school. He returns to class a little bit shook up and his teacher has giving him a writing assignment to write a whole whooping five paragraphs about his summer vacation. Hank has difficulty writing even one sentence how he is he ever going to get this assignment done. Hank has dyslexia but he Literature Requirement Award Winner – 2015 Blue Stem Nominee Hank Zipper the main character a misunderstood to be little bit of a rebel rouser. He is called into the principals office his very first day of school. He returns to class a little bit shook up and his teacher has giving him a writing assignment to write a whole whooping five paragraphs about his summer vacation. Hank has difficulty writing even one sentence how he is he ever going to get this assignment done. Hank has dyslexia but he doesn't let that deter him he utilizes his innovative mind and decides to show his class what his summer vacation was. He creates a living essay of sorts only his living essay of his trip to Niagara Falls crescendoed to fill the entire room, this is not the first impression he intended to make at all. Will Hank face cataclysmic consequences for the tidal wave of water currently inundating his classroom? Pick up the first book of the series of Hank Zipper adventures Niagara Falls, Or Does It to find out. This is a must read for all ages it is a fun engaging adventure story with relatable heartfelt characters. Henry Winkler has clearly constructed a wave of full of happy days with the fun and wacky but cute adventures of his character Hank Zipper and his friends Frankie Townsend and Ashley Wong. This is only the first book of the Hank Zipper series based off Henry Winkler's experiences has a child with dyslexia and ADHD.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book tells the tale of Hank Zipzer, who feels like the world's greatest underachiever. It's Hank's first day of year four and the teacher sets the task of writing a five paragraph essay chronicling what they did over the Summer holiday. Hank struggles with dyslexia so decides to build his project (a replica of Niagara Falls) instead and bring it into the classroom, which results in a classroom flood and two weeks detention. It seems that Hank's creative ideas keep getting him into trouble a This book tells the tale of Hank Zipzer, who feels like the world's greatest underachiever. It's Hank's first day of year four and the teacher sets the task of writing a five paragraph essay chronicling what they did over the Summer holiday. Hank struggles with dyslexia so decides to build his project (a replica of Niagara Falls) instead and bring it into the classroom, which results in a classroom flood and two weeks detention. It seems that Hank's creative ideas keep getting him into trouble and his self-esteem is seriously battered until a new teacher suspects that Hank may have a learning disability. This book is a light-hearted and witty read with a serious message underneath about how difficult it can be for those with learning disabilities without proper support or provision. This would be a fantastic book both for children struggling with with dyslexia like Hank, but also, with its fast-paced humour and colourful cast of characters including a soup-eating iguana and the disdainfully strict Ms Adolf it would appeal to all children. I would recommend this book for KS2 children, particularly Y3 & 4 but would also work really well with less confident Y5&6 readers.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a tale written about a fourth grader, (Henry) Hank Zipzer. The story contains a lot of humor, both in language jokes within the text and pratfalls of situations gone horrible wrong. The important aspect of this story is that our main character, at the end, is about to be tested for a learning disability. This book is geared towards third or fourth grades, but it was written by The Fonz and I couldn't turn it down. The story moves along quickly, Hank is called into the office on the first This is a tale written about a fourth grader, (Henry) Hank Zipzer. The story contains a lot of humor, both in language jokes within the text and pratfalls of situations gone horrible wrong. The important aspect of this story is that our main character, at the end, is about to be tested for a learning disability. This book is geared towards third or fourth grades, but it was written by The Fonz and I couldn't turn it down. The story moves along quickly, Hank is called into the office on the first hour of the first day. His teacher, Ms. Adolf, "doesn't believe in laughing" (p.4). Hank is given the task to write a five paragraph paper "What I did this summer." Instead of writing about his family's trip to Niagara Falls, he creates a working model of the falls. High-jinks ensues; the model falls apart, Ms. Adolf is doused, the principal walks in on the scene. Hank is grounded and unable to perform with his friends at the magic show in the bowling alley. Through work and luck, he gains permission to be a part of the magic show. It is wildly successful.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Henry Winkler (The Fonz) has written a wonderful series of books about a boy named Hank Zipzer (The World's Greatest Underachiever). These stories are based on some of his experiences as a youth with dyslexia. This is book 1 in the series. Hank really wants to do well in school and in life, but his best intentions have a funny way of falling apart. My dyslexic son loves them -- not just because they are funny and engaging, but because Winkler does such a great job describing the feelings and exp Henry Winkler (The Fonz) has written a wonderful series of books about a boy named Hank Zipzer (The World's Greatest Underachiever). These stories are based on some of his experiences as a youth with dyslexia. This is book 1 in the series. Hank really wants to do well in school and in life, but his best intentions have a funny way of falling apart. My dyslexic son loves them -- not just because they are funny and engaging, but because Winkler does such a great job describing the feelings and experiences of growing up this way. My son will often sound like he's in revival meeting when we're listening, because he'll shout out, "Yep, that's just what it's like!". Hank Zipzer doesn't think very well of himself. He is really misunderstood at school (except for his music teacher), but he has a wonderful network of people to support him at home, and you get a sense of how important that may have been in his own life. Great, funny, stories. If you get them on CD, they are read by Winkler which, if you are old enough, will remind you of Happy Days episodes (music and all).

  22. 5 out of 5

    blmagm

    Hank Zipzer decides to make a hands-on school project rather than write the five-paragraph essay assigned by his teacher. Hank dreams of the accolades he will receive for his creativity. However, when his project demonstration goes awry, Hank earns no praise, only detention and grounding. Lucky for Hank, he spends his detention with Mr. Rock, the music teacher, who looks beyond Hank's "shortcomings" and recognizes Hank's strengths. Winkler and Oliver, in writing the Zipzer series, help readers s Hank Zipzer decides to make a hands-on school project rather than write the five-paragraph essay assigned by his teacher. Hank dreams of the accolades he will receive for his creativity. However, when his project demonstration goes awry, Hank earns no praise, only detention and grounding. Lucky for Hank, he spends his detention with Mr. Rock, the music teacher, who looks beyond Hank's "shortcomings" and recognizes Hank's strengths. Winkler and Oliver, in writing the Zipzer series, help readers see what it is like to live as a child who learns differently than others. For those students, school can be a painful, frustrating, demoralizing experience. Throughout the story, especially in the triumphant magic show finale scene, they make sure we see just how smart Hank really is. Although implicit, this book makes a strong case for the need in education for alternative assessments. I can see how this series wold be helpful for a child who is struggling like Hank to know that he or she is not alone.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Hank Zipzer: Niagara Falls, or Does It? follows the realistic story of a boy named Hank Zipzer and his wild adventure. Hank lives with undiagnosed dyslexia which makes him the perfect underachiever with wildly funny stories. Those his brain may not understand math or reading he is the perfect creative mind which sometimes gets him in trouble. In this first book Hank has to create a science project where he decides to put together a report and a replica of a working Niagara Falls. During his pres Hank Zipzer: Niagara Falls, or Does It? follows the realistic story of a boy named Hank Zipzer and his wild adventure. Hank lives with undiagnosed dyslexia which makes him the perfect underachiever with wildly funny stories. Those his brain may not understand math or reading he is the perfect creative mind which sometimes gets him in trouble. In this first book Hank has to create a science project where he decides to put together a report and a replica of a working Niagara Falls. During his presentation though, things go terribly wrong. This realistic fiction story is perfect to help students with learning disabilities relate to the world. Its funny and creative and doesn't shed a negative light on dyslexia. Though at first Hank is undiagnosed by the end of the book he becomes officially diagnosed. The book does a great job at showing the struggles someone with a LD have both before and after being diagnosed. Any student would find this book enjoyable but those who can relate may find this book just a little bit more cherish-able.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Sometimes I need a change of pace, especially with listening to a lot of gut-wrenching books. I grabbed this book off the library shelf at work because of the author Henry Wrinkler. I didn't know it was inspired by his childhood until a friend told me. Then I read the credits. " Inspired by the true life experiences of Henry Winkler, whose undiagnosed dyslexia made him a classic childhood underachiever, the Hank Zipzer series is about the high-spirited and funny adventures of a boy with learning Sometimes I need a change of pace, especially with listening to a lot of gut-wrenching books. I grabbed this book off the library shelf at work because of the author Henry Wrinkler. I didn't know it was inspired by his childhood until a friend told me. Then I read the credits. " Inspired by the true life experiences of Henry Winkler, whose undiagnosed dyslexia made him a classic childhood underachiever, the Hank Zipzer series is about the high-spirited and funny adventures of a boy with learning differences." So now I think I will continue reading about the antics of Henry (aka Hank to his friends) Zipzer. This book was a very fun read. Hank has a few problems in school: reading, writing and arithmetic and I will not forget his teacher Ms Adolf. He is given an assignment to write a 5 paragraph report on his summer vacation, but he hates writing so he decides to show what he did. Making a paper-mache' of Niagara Falls including the waterfall. But what happens when he adds said water to the mix, makes for a very messy conclusion.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A few years ago I went and met Henry Winkler and heard him speak about this series. I had never actually read any of them until now, but I ended up really liking this book. It might be that I'm partial to the whole "music teacher saves the day" kind of idea, but it was awesome. I'm looking forward to reading more of them and seeing the doors that open up for Hank due to the one teacher who finally takes the time to get to know him. One little problem with the story... -My third graders know all a A few years ago I went and met Henry Winkler and heard him speak about this series. I had never actually read any of them until now, but I ended up really liking this book. It might be that I'm partial to the whole "music teacher saves the day" kind of idea, but it was awesome. I'm looking forward to reading more of them and seeing the doors that open up for Hank due to the one teacher who finally takes the time to get to know him. One little problem with the story... -My third graders know all about me. I get asked about Mr. McHugh and Georgie every day... the fact that Hank's teacher doesn't act like a "real" person in front of her students makes my heart hurt. The fact that she doesn't seem to care if kids like her, and that she doesn't let them laugh, is super upsetting. Between her and the mean principal, I felt like the staff at Hank's school was pretty horrible... until Mr. Rock came along. Thank goodness for that breath of fresh air!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dianne J.

    Age of readership: Ages 8-10 Genre: Series Book Diversity: Everyone learns differently Illustrations: None My response to the book: This is the first book in a series and is written from the perspective of a 4th grade boy growing up in NYC who has difficulty with homework assignments and school work in general. He states repeatedly that he thinks he is stupid, but as the story unfolds you see his family and friends in the neighborhood he lives in as a very supportive network and one teacher brings u Age of readership: Ages 8-10 Genre: Series Book Diversity: Everyone learns differently Illustrations: None My response to the book: This is the first book in a series and is written from the perspective of a 4th grade boy growing up in NYC who has difficulty with homework assignments and school work in general. He states repeatedly that he thinks he is stupid, but as the story unfolds you see his family and friends in the neighborhood he lives in as a very supportive network and one teacher brings up the idea of having him tested for learning differences, but that is not explained in the book. I have read that the author is speaking from his own experiences as a child growing up with dyslexia. Curricular/Programming connections: This book could be used for the basis of a book report, in fact several of the individual books in the series could be assigned to all students in the class and they could give an oral report on the selection that they read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Fourth-grade underachiever Hank claims he wants to do the right thing, but somehow he always messes up. Take the assignment Hank's teacher doles out on the first day of school: write a five-paragraph essay, "What I did on my summer vacation." Since writing is hard for him, Hank creates a visual presentation on his visit to Niagara Falls instead--and winds up flooding the classroom. Some of the characters are stereotypes, such as buffoonish Principal Love and Hank's overly strict teacher, Ms. Ad Fourth-grade underachiever Hank claims he wants to do the right thing, but somehow he always messes up. Take the assignment Hank's teacher doles out on the first day of school: write a five-paragraph essay, "What I did on my summer vacation." Since writing is hard for him, Hank creates a visual presentation on his visit to Niagara Falls instead--and winds up flooding the classroom. Some of the characters are stereotypes, such as buffoonish Principal Love and Hank's overly strict teacher, Ms. Adolf, but others, including Hank, are believable and sympathetic. When the school's music teacher befriends Hank while supervising his detention, he begins to suspect that Hank has a learning problem and suggests that he be tested. There is a subplot about Hank and his friends putting on a magic show for Hank’s grandfather’s (Papa Pete) bowling league. At 133 pages this is a quick and amusing read, and something that would definitely appeal to boys. Best for 3/4/5 graders?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susan Menk

    Tags: Hank Zipzer, magic show, friendship, apartment building, dyslexia, school, series Hank Zipzer is a new fourth grader and is assigned a five paragraph essay on what he did over summer vacation. Hank is creative and decides to make Niagara Falls instead of write the essay (since he can't seem to get the words on paper). When his project turns into a disaster, Hank is in big trouble! While serving detention, Hank meets Mr. Rock who visits his parents with his concerns that Hank is not an under Tags: Hank Zipzer, magic show, friendship, apartment building, dyslexia, school, series Hank Zipzer is a new fourth grader and is assigned a five paragraph essay on what he did over summer vacation. Hank is creative and decides to make Niagara Falls instead of write the essay (since he can't seem to get the words on paper). When his project turns into a disaster, Hank is in big trouble! While serving detention, Hank meets Mr. Rock who visits his parents with his concerns that Hank is not an underachiever or even stupid, he just has a different way of learning. When Hank's father plays Scrabble with Hank he finally realizes that his son may need some help and that he really doesn't try to get into trouble. Hank Zipzer 1 "Niagara Falls, or does it?" by Henry WInkler and Lin Oliver, Grosset & Dunlap: New York, 2003.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kellie

    At Salt Lake City's first Comic Con I had the privilege of hearing a panel by Henry Winkler. He talked about growing up with a learning disability and how his parents were not supportive of him. It touched my soul having my own issues with dyslexia and my mother's issues with her mother. I was fortunate to meet with Mr. Winkler and purchase an autographed copy of one of his Hank Zipper novels which chronicles the lead character's experience with learning challenges. This is the first book in the At Salt Lake City's first Comic Con I had the privilege of hearing a panel by Henry Winkler. He talked about growing up with a learning disability and how his parents were not supportive of him. It touched my soul having my own issues with dyslexia and my mother's issues with her mother. I was fortunate to meet with Mr. Winkler and purchase an autographed copy of one of his Hank Zipper novels which chronicles the lead character's experience with learning challenges. This is the first book in the series and it basically introduces all of the characters and gives you an interior view of what Hank is feeling. He thinks that he is stupid and he meets a teacher that in end thinks he just learns differently. The book is filled with humor and fast paced. Great read for reluctant boys! Just make sure they read more and not just stop at the first book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    4th grader Hank has so many problems in school; especially in spelling! That is why he is horror stricken when he is asked to write a 5 paragraph essay on the 1st day of school. Instead of writing, he is intent on building a diorama of Niagara Falls, and telling his class all about his trip and facts that he learned. He knows everything he is going to say and he has fantastic information, but his “project” malfunctions and instead of remembering all the good things Hand said the teacher, princip 4th grader Hank has so many problems in school; especially in spelling! That is why he is horror stricken when he is asked to write a 5 paragraph essay on the 1st day of school. Instead of writing, he is intent on building a diorama of Niagara Falls, and telling his class all about his trip and facts that he learned. He knows everything he is going to say and he has fantastic information, but his “project” malfunctions and instead of remembering all the good things Hand said the teacher, principal and his parents are extremely mad at him. He winds grounded for 2 weeks and has 2 weeks of detention. This book is showing that not all kids learn the same, especially kids with dyslexia like Hank. It is important to understand that some kids are good at writing, while others are good at expressing their thoughts through writing and art work.

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