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review 2018-11-24 05:24
Assassination Classroom (manga, vol. 2) by Yusei Matsui, translated by Tetsuichiro Miyaki
Assassination Classroom, Vol. 2 - Yusei Matsui

This volume begins with the addition of a new English teacher, Irina Jelavich, who is secretly a professional assassin.

She tries to kill Koro Sensei but, like an idiot, doesn't follow instructions and uses real bullets. Her efforts fail, and she basically has to beg the students to let her continue on as their teacher.

(spoiler show)

Then we meet the students' next enemy, the diabolical Principal Gakuho Asano, who designed the school's Class 3-E system and who wants to keep them in their place.

He sets them up to fail their midterms.

(spoiler show)

Then it's time for a school trip to Kyoto, where the students are supposed to lure Koro Sensei to prime spots for snipers to shoot him.

Unfortunately, several girls from the class are kidnapped.

(spoiler show)

I was not fond, at all, of the addition of Irina, aka Ms. Fan Service. She constantly hung off of and kissed Nagisa, a junior high student, because he had the best info on Koro Sensei and could therefore be useful to her (and yet

she didn't listen when she was told that Koro Sensei could only be killed by special bullets and knives?). Also, her "defeat" by Koro Sensei looked like an allusion to tentacle rape.

(spoiler show)

I liked this volume more when it focused on Koro Sensei again. I loved the detail about Koro Sensei creating customized tests for each student, based on their strengths and weaknesses. It seems like Matsui is already starting to forget the series' original goal, though. When the school trip came up, the only real reference to assassinating Koro Sensei was the thing about picking prime spots for snipers to get him. They probably could have gotten a good assassination attempt in while Koro Sensei was still suffering from car sickness, but they didn't even try.

This volume ended with a 6-page crossover manga that pitted Assassination Classroom's Koro Sensei against the main character of The Mishaps of Kusuo Saiki (The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.). It was okay, I guess, but I haven't read or watched the other series.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-11-24 05:16
Assassination Classroom (manga, vol. 1) by Yusei Matsui, translated by Tetsuichiro Miyaki
Assassination Classroom, Vol. 1 - Yusei Matsui

An alien later named Koro Sensei has destroyed a huge chunk of the moon and plans to destroy the Earth, but first he's going to be the best teacher Class 3-E has ever seen. If any of his students can kill him prior to graduation, they'll not only have saved the Earth, they'll also be awarded 10 billion yen. Their weapons are special rubber bullets and knives that are relatively harmless to human beings but fatal to Koro Sensei...if they can manage to touch him. All of their efforts fail, but Koro Sensei finds ways to motivate them and, weirdly, lift their spirits. For example, Sugino learns to pitch better, Okuda learns the value of good (and appropriately used) communication skills, and violent Karma finds in Koro Sensei a teacher who will truly stand by him.

This series is like a parody of those heart-warming movies from the '80s and '90s about teachers who find a way to connect with their classrooms of supposedly hopeless delinquents. Even as Koro Sensei evades his students' assassination attempts, he finds ways to help them feel supported, learn their strengths, and realize why academic subjects they dislike are still worth learning.

So far, I like this, although the moon thing bugs me. If that much of the moon were destroyed, the Earth would already be doomed. I had to do my best to just accept it and move on. I enjoyed the humor, I loved serious-looking Karasuma as their PE teacher (concentrating more on assassination techniques rather than traditional PE activities), and Koro Sensei's work with his students was oddly touching. I'm looking forward to eventually finding out Koro Sensei's motivations. Here's hoping it doesn't take too long. At this point, all readers know is that he made a promise to what appeared to be a dying human woman.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-09-08 04:11
Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus
Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus - Barbara Park,Denise Brunkus

Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park is a very engaging book for young readers where students can relate to the main character Junie B. Jones. Junie B. has her first day of Kindergarten and has to ride the school bus to school, which Junie B. does not enjoy.  At the end of the day, instead of going home on the bus, Junie B. hides in the school causing lots of chaos.  Junie B. eventually agrees to ride the school bus if she gets to be with a friend.  Julie B. Jones is very clever, but still has many lessons to learn.  This book would go well with teaching the importance of rules, especially those enforced at school.  Using Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, teachers could have students help make classroom rules and specifically point out dismissal rules at the end of the day.  The Fountas and Pinnell text level for Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus is Level M (Grades 3 and 4).  

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review 2018-09-07 00:46
First Day Jitters
First Day Jitters - Julie Danneberg,Judy Love

This is the heartwarming story of a girl who is scared to go to school on her first day. She hides in her bed, and shows in other ways that she is nervous about what's to come. At the end of the book, the reader realizes that girl is not a student, but is actually the teacher.


This book could help create classroom community on the first day of school. Students would either write or share their own feelings about the first day of school, after they have been shown that it's ok to be nervous about something new.


AR Level 2.4

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review 2018-03-12 00:00
Assassination Classroom, Vol. 3
Assassination Classroom, Vol. 3 - Yūsei ... Assassination Classroom, Vol. 3 - Yūsei Matsui 4 stars

This series is ridiculous and fun. full review to follow
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