Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Mike Thaler
Illustrator: Jared Lee
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Hubie is invited to a New Year's Eve sleepover at his friend Eric's house. It is Hubie's first sleepover and he comes up with a list of reasons why he can't go because he is afraid to be away from home and his mom. Hubie tries to get the sleepover moved to his house, but Eric doesn't want to spend the night away from home either. Hubie decides to pack some security items to make him feel more comfortable and to stay at Eric's house for just a little while, with reassurance from his Mom that he can call her at any time. When Hubie arrives he finds that the other boys are scared too, but Eric distracts them by playing checkers and a new video game, telling a joke, and making a New Year's resolution to be friends forever. The boys get all the party supplies together to celebrate New Year's Eve and climb into their sleeping bags, but all of them fall asleep before the ball drops to bring in the New Year. Hubie decides the sleepover was fun and wants to do it again next year...at his house!
This book explores real fears that the intended readers age group experience. The author addresses Hubie's fears directly and then offers solutions to help Hubie and any child reading the book to deal with the fear of staying overnight away from home. The text explores ways to combat fear in a fun and amusing story that keeps the attention of primary and even intermediate readers. The illustrations and comic like drawings help keep the story line entertaining by adding in jokes and funny side comics. The text is fairly easy to read with short chapters and is a great choice for kids just beginning to read chapter books.