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Hey guys it’s Sam, and you might remember a time on this very site way back when* (*May 2011, to be exact) I put up a review on Big Nate 2, and I rambled on and on about it in one direction and one direction only: merely how horrible it was (and I wasn’t kidding). And you might remember how I concluded the post: hoping that the by-then-upcoming Big Nate on a Roll, the third entry, would invigorate the series and lift it from its many troubles. Well, now I’ve finally come to read it, and I’m surprised at how serious Lincoln took my information, if he even did. If there was a stream with stepping stones that worked as a reviewing system (the books that stay at the start are the worst, the books that cross are the best), Big Nate 3 would’ve already been almost finished crossing the stream. And why do I say almost? Well, read this review to find that out.

“The rest of the play is kind of a blur. I can’t stop thinking about Artur. Hey, that rhymes!”

– “Big Nate” Wright

(If you wanna skip to the real review, then ignore this paragraph and read the one below.)

The Big Nate series may have published its first full-feature book (not a lousy compilation of comic strips ripped off the web) 2 years ago in ’10, but Nate celebrated his series’ twentieth birthday just last year. If you do the math right, you should come up with the fact that Nate’s series started back in ’91. There have been eight other Big Nate books that weren’t full-feature novels, and almost half of them were cartoon compilations (see what I mean?): 1992’s Add More Babes!, 2008’s I Smell A Pop Quiz!, 2010’s Big Nate from the Top, 2o11’s Big Nate Out Loud and Big Nate and Friends. (Plus this years’s upcoming What Could Possibly Go Wrong?) The other three were what Lincoln Peirce himself described as “failed experiments”: his first 3 Big Nate eBooks from ’02. They were Dibs on This ChairPray for a Firedrill, and Big Nate…Makes a Splash.

Have you ever been itching to steal the first place title from your strongest rival? That’s what Nate’s dealing with in Big Nate on a Roll. Nate was always Joe #1 in his Timber Scout troop…that is, until Artur—aka Mr. Perfect—is newly recruited. Now Nate’s been degraded to 2nd place, and Artur means business even without his own knowing of it. But another problem kindles when Nate’s trapped in the center of a “dog-leash incident” and loses his skateboard in the process, landing deep in the waters of Beard’s Creek. Sooner or later, Nate and Artur are fierce competitors in a Timber Scout contest to see who can sell the most wall hangings and soak up the most greens. The prizes, from 3rd-place to 1st, are:

  • The 3rd-place winner will receive a Rockin’ Robot kit that allows you to build your own robot with the ability to play over a hundred songs.
  • The runner-up will receive a plain telescope with a celestial chart included…whatever that is.
  • The grand-prize winner will receive a “hi-flyin'” customized skateboard that allows you to design the board the way you want to! With 55mm wheels and a cast aluminum truck assembly, it’s no wonder why Nate’s fighting hard for this gift.

Will Nate put Artur in second for once in his runner-upping life? Or will he land with the silver medal while Artur gets the gold?

This book is a surprising step in the right direction for Big Nate. Plenty of laughs, drama, and action keep the book strung up and interesting to read. Colorful language (“that shut her up”), violence (ex: a woman is disturbed by the fact that Nate included “botched surgery” in one of his comics) and some lovey scenes do occur, but parental-wise, there’s not much to worry for about this book. Well, maybe except the violence part. Instead of shunning Lincoln, I’m actually coming to praise him for realizing what he’s doing to his fans and stepping up his game. Not by a little, but by a lot. And I swear, if Big Nate 4 can pull this off when it comes out in two weeks, Lincoln’s series is pretty much no longer in critical danger. I should know: did you see what I had to deal with for Big Nate 2? Anyway, I feel good that I had been anticipating my opportunity to read this book for so long. And, hey—I think it actually adds up evenly! Now that I’m feeling all happy, let’s roll the chart.

 2 3/4 out of 5 – Educational value – As Nate’s constantly updating his amount of money in the wall hanging competition, he uses a heck of a lot of math problems that readers can follow along to. For example, Nate calculates Artur’s amount of sold wall hangings (53) times the cost of the wall hangings apiece ($8) to get the total amount of money Artur has received for the competition ($424).

 3 out of 5 – Positive messages – Although Nate does show the competitive half of him throughout the book, it’s a good message that sometimes we all need to unravel our competitive sides every once in a while. Besides that, there’s not much messages to go around, as Nate’s best friends aren’t very “friend-y”, and his shown teachers have very snappy natures. Wall hangings do have kiddie but sometimes sweet messages on them. Examples include “Sharing is caring!”, “Don’t you love grandmas?”, and even “Follow your rainbow!”

 1 3/4 out of 5 – Positive role models – Nate’s sometimes disastrous, other times delightful life is perfectly related to that of real life. Life is almost everything or anything you’d want to call it: a disaster, a movie, a rollercoaster full of twists and turns, and even sometimes a box of chocolates. Nate may get competitive, but maybe that’s how you operate contests, too.

 3 3/4 out of 5 – Ease of read – Big Nate on a Roll is a great and invigorating entry into the series, full of humor, action, and plenty of surprises as well. Although the first time I read this book it felt empty at first, I continued reading on and I only rekindled with that feeling every once in a while. That means not all the time. Although this might be more than violent than past entries, it is definitely that one entry in the Big Nate as-of-now trilogy that lifted the series from the rubble and debris of its disasters and gently washed it off until it was clean. Weird metaphor, huh? I remember when I said in the finale of my last Big Nate review: “Hopefully, Lincoln can try again in his third book, which is already in production, due to release this August [I released the post by May ’11, so book 3 hadn’t arrived yet]. Maybe he’ll take back the innovation and get serious this time.” Well, past and modern Sams, you got your wishes.

4 out of 5 – Violence – This book has a baffling amount of violence. Nate mishandles a fake wooden sword and accidentally decapitates a garden gnome with it. One of Nate’s friends, Chad, is shown slamming into a wall via wirework during a play. In one illustration, Teddy and Francis [having come back from a scout camping trip] are in bad shape, Francis’ face swollen with hornet swings, and Teddy about to barf. Nate draws up a newcomer’s comic about a stuntman named Moe Mentum (get it?) that breaks sixteen of his bones, punctures one of his lungs, and has five heart attacks, all in one stunt. Another one of Nate’s comics about our favorite medical misfit Doctor Cesspool, along with his rival Dr. Arch Enemy and fellow nurse Maureen Biology (obviously a play on “marine biology”), shows Cesspool accidentally botching a man while performing surgery on him, putting his foot where his hand should be and his hand where his foot should be. A woman that Nate tries to sell this to is greatly disturbed by this fact. On a camping trip, Nate’s dad accidentally sets up everyone in sight to be skunk-sprayed. Nate pats himself on the back by making a comic about the super-heroic version of himself (Ultra-Nate), and he saves Jenny moments before a truck passes by. Spitsy the dog dive-attacks Nate and begins licking and slobbering all over him. A drop of stray paint lands in Nate’s eye, and he blindly crashes into a ladder that Artur is standing on, causing the two to fall onto the floor. Later, Nate gets caught in an incident where he skates right into an outstretched dog leash. Nate also makes the bad decision of tying Spitsy’s leash to his belt, as Spitsy drags him helplessly dead-on into a tree. And I don’t think I’m even finished with it all.

 1 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – Nate’s still trying to win Jenny’s heart, although for the first time that’s only minor in the book. The final panel of Nate’s camp comic shows everyone in their underwear (including the male adults) in the lake, washing off skunk smell.

0 out of 5 – Language – Nothing much.

2 3/4 out of 5 – Product Placement – Big Nate 3 doesn’t state much direct brand names, and although a competition’s prizes include a build-a-robot kit, a telescope, and a custom skateboard, there is nothing product-placing except the fact that Big Nate 3 belongs to a famous children’s book series.

0 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – This aspect is not featured.


Entertainment: B+ (3.5 points)

Fun: B+ (3.5 points)

Smarts: B (3 points)

Style: A (4 points)

Read-Again Ratio: B (3 points)

Humor: A- (4 points)

FINAL SCORE: 21 out of 30 (…), 3 1/2 stars out of 5, 81% out of 100%

CONSENSUS: Big Nate on a Roll is the perfect apology to Peirce’s previous failure, bringing back all the good hijinks and heartwarm, but with some trip-ups stuck in the vat, Peirce’s series may not be risen from its rubble completely after all.


Comment, rate, like, share, do this one new thing called “reblogging”, and draw on the subscribe button’s face, and a leprechaun will show up at your house and give you gold. I know, a bit too late for St. Patty’s references, isn’t it? Well, come back next Monday and I’ll have something perty good for you!

– Sam 😉

This week’s Would You Rather o’ The Week (weekly “Would You Rather”s to conclude every post) is: “WOULD YOU RATHER…be the protagonist in a terrible movie, or have a minor role in an amazing movie?” 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 wt

Yeah, it’s true. And this is Sam reporting about more Big Time Rush. Everyone knows that show about four meddling boys that make a band with a huge record producer that has his own company named after him. And everyone knows their what-seemed-to-be-infinite list of songs, like the theme “Big Time Rush”, the fast-paced love song “Any Kind of Guy”, and the ode to fame, “Famous”, a cover off of the band Play’s version of it on their fifth and final album. Anyway, let’s fast-forward to the part where I tell you about the juicy news. After B.T.R.’s several trials and tribulations, (such as “Til I Forget About You” becoming a commercial failure) it’s sold 700,000 copies worldwide since last month, earning it a Gold rating from the RIAA. And then came their holiday EP a month later, and a month earlier than the holiday they were aiming for. This contained only two songs that made only 7 minutes of music, a cover of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” with Miranda Cosgrove, and a whole different song called “Beautiful Christmas”. Could they come back and leave their trip-ups behind with their next album…Elevate?

A weird name? I think so. An epic cover? I know so. Their comeback album is due to rock stores near you next Monday on the 21st of November, and their announced songs seem ballin’ and flossin’. This summer, the song “If I Ruled the World” featuring Iyaz was released. The first song of the album, “Music Sounds Better With U” written with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, was first aired last month, but it has already been released on November 1st. The foursome stated that they were capable of doing most of the writing (including a song due to be heading into an Airheads commercial, “Love Me Love Me”) although some songs took individuals to decipher, like Carlos writing “Invisible” all by himself. At the start of this month, “Intermission”, a song excepted from their album, got leaked online. Check out the whole tracklist!

1. If I Ruled The World ft. Iyaz
2. Paralyzed
3. My Time
4. Blow Your Speakers
5. Someone Else
6. Anything Goes
7. Superstar
8. Like Me
9. Tomorrow
10. Heya
11. Perfect
12. No One Like You
13. (Fallin’ In Love) All Over Again

And if you want a taste of what to expect on Elevate, listen to “If I Ruled the World” below!

Do you want to see how the actual cover art was photo-shot? I can cover you on that, too!

So keep your eyes out for their new album, Elevate, on November 21st! And hopefully maybe it won’t have its own trials and tribulations!

Your friend,


Hey guys, it’s Sam debuting with my new segment for book reviews–Page Flip! I–Oh, gee. Me oh my. Ba humbug. Big Nate Strikes Again has totally changed my view for Lincoln Peirce’s hit series. And I’m not playing funny. This is the worst book I’ve ever read, besides those epic fails from Goosebumps. Is it worth the read? Heck no. Is it that bad? Let’s find out.

Big Nate Strikes Again is Lincoln Peirce’s second novel in his hit book series from his comic strip, Big Nate. It lunged into bookstores last year, and people have been loving it ever since, like the first novel, Big Nate In a Class By Himself. But when I read it, I never loved it back. First of all, $13.00? That’s a ripoff! But, what the heck, it’s Big Nate, right? Of all the books I’ve read, I just wanted this to be good, darn it! Why does my life suck so bad?

Think of this book like this: Take a bad script, make it worse, then turn it into a bad Big Nate script. Almost every stage of the book was drowned out horribly inconsistently. Let’s start with the humor of this book. Two words: plain LAZY. Lacking heart, inspiration, and innovation. Probably the most innovative thing in this book was watching Randy Betancourt get a bloody nose. But that’s just underestimation.  Everything was broken. The script, broken. The humor, broken. The perspective, broken!

Next, we’ll stop by the actual script or the perspective of that script. It brings you down from the amount of awkwardness the script allows to have, enough to give you a migraine.  I got so mad at this book, I wanted to rip the pages into pieces, go to Lincoln Peirce himself, grab him by the ear, and yell in it, “WHY DID YOU MAKE YOUR BOOK SUCK?!?!” It’s like Lincoln chose his script with the roll of a dice, and that’s not a good thing AT ALL. It’s like Lincoln didn’t give a darn. He just made sure he got all the characters, threw out the innovative parts, added in some stuff, made it inconsistent, and slapped it into a cover and gave us the bare minimum.

We’ll stop by the picturing next. Just like novel one; splendid, charming, and eye-catching. It might be the only thing that bumped the book upwards instead of downwards. Nate’s sketches are still pretty laughable, but they aren’t hilarious enough to lift the bar up to a good score. Why? Because it was BROKEN!…sort of.

Here is something that’s really ugly. People were actually liking this book. Giving it favorable reviews. On Google Books, it got a 4 stars out of 5, summing up all the reviews. We’re talking 3 stars out of 5, 4 stars, even 5 STARS!!! No one even BOTHERED to give it ONE star! Dirty lies! And I couldn’t scroll down a Goodreads.com page without seeing a bazillion 4-star and 5-star ratings! NOW THAT IS JUST DISGUSTING! Like my dad, I will hate a lie when I hear one. And now that you lie now, that makes me sick. Really sick, after eating a whole 10-nugget meal from Wendy’s.

Sure, some of the little “games” in there were interesting, but they were as mind-numbing as algebra. Especially a maze that will take you YEARS to finish, just to get  Ben Franklin to his time machine so he can hit the 1700s again! Another was a lame decoding method that couldn’t just TELL YOU THE ANSWERS ahead of time, before you stretch your brain like it’s a chunk of Play-Doh! And as we all know, when you stretch a chunk of Play-Doh too far…it BREAKS APART.

The final verdict to this is our first TWO out of 10 (terrible)! I would recommend Big Nate In a Class By Himself over this junkyard. Even if it wasn’t the perfect comic novel.  Hopefully, Lincoln can try again in his third book, which is already in production, due to release this August. Maybe he’ll take back the innovation and get serious this time.

Here are the emblems Big Nate Strikes Again deserves!

Epic Fail – When you don’t succeed at first, never try again.  The script that makes you sigh, the bonuses that make you blush, and the fails that deserve face-palms are only described as recipients of this emblem.

Broken – When you shudder walking by a book, you know it’s Broken. After hours of reading, you still are unable to wrap your mind around what’s happening and when it’s happening. Maybe more thorough descriptions would rekindle the mishap.

Total Ripoff – Was it a sick joke? Was it all for laughs? When you spend 20 dollars on a book that you later realize wasn’t worth the overspend, you feel like it’s a rotten prank that you just can’t undo…besides the deadly refund. Maybe next time you’ll approach with a little more caution.

Disappointing – Plenty of books out there refuse to stoop to their potential. Books with the potential that falls rather short earns this nose-thumbing demerit for their troubles.


Need I say more? Well, here in Michigan, it’s getting pretty late, so I’m Sam, and I’ll see you next time on Page Flip, AND Sammwak!

Yours truly,

Sam 😉

Hey guys it’s Sam, and remember my BIG TIME RUSH MUSIC VID series?

BIG TIME RUSH MUSIC VID!!! (Count On You ft. Jordin Sparks)



Well, I finally will continue that series! 😀

Today’s song is “This Is Our Someday”, which is already on B.T.R., Big Time Rush’s first album. If you want, you can see the version from “Big Time Concert”:

Or you can see the version off the show with lyrics, so u can sing along:

I rly liked this song, and I hope u do 2.

– Sam

Hey guys it’s Sam, and you should remember OneByOneTV. Click here if you haven’t an idea wth OneByOneTV is.

Well, the founder of that, my big brother Chris, actually has a WordPress blog of his own. So it’s not only me who has a blog in our family. Mine is goofy, kid-oriented, and bouncy with that pizzazz that kids will enjoy. His is downright serious chiz. Children could read it, but Chris is no jokester (okay maybe 99.9% of the time). His blog is literally a guide to innovation so from the boardroom to the classroom to the bedroom, you will be wildly successful in everything you do. My blog is dedicated to…absolutely….NOTHING? What, I don’t make good decisions.

Anyways, you can check out Chris’s blog anytime, anywhere. If you’re 13 years old or older, that means a special BONUS. You can contact him on Facebook and LinkedIn. If not, you can still subscribe to him nonetheless. His latest post is his second weekly fitness update. It’s pretty fascinating, and you can lol at the same time. W00t!

Well, here’s where it all begins: http://www.chrismwakasisi.com/blog/

Read it and lol!

– Sam


Hey guys it’s Sam and guess what? A very special event has happened. Here’s a hint: BTR. No, it’s not an acronym for Biceps Tendon Reflex or Blood and Tissue Registration System (good guess though). I’ll give you one more minute to guess…

IT’S BIG TIME RUSH, SILLY! That’s right. Big Time Rush’s first album, B.T.R., has released.

This album features singles already seen on the TV show, such as “Big Time Rush”, “City Is Ours”, “Halfway There”, and “Til I Forget About You”. It released October 11, which was 20 days ago (it being the 31st) which is literally 3 weeks ago. But the track listing was announced even EARLIER, at Sept. 1.


Chart performance

B.T.R. was a major charting success; it peaked at #5 on “Top Internet Albums” and rose to #1 on “Top Soundtracks”. Also, it scored #3 on the U.S. Billboard 200, and #1 on U.S. iTunes. That’s some music, for 41 min. and 5 sec.!


Check out Big Time Rush’s first-ever album before it’s sold out!

– Sam

Before I start going crazy, I need to inform u on some stuff.

If you see a word with an asterisk (*) after it, that means it will show up in the glossary at the bottom of the post. K bye

Hey guys it’s Sam and guess wut? Do u like house* music, or dance music? And do u like it when it comes from England? And do you like musical duos?  Then, Basement Jaxx is the band 4 u.

The origin of this dynamic duo (Simon Radcliffe, and Felix Buxton) originated from the band’s regular night club called Basement Jaxx. This club moved from venue to venue, such as the George IV, the Crypt, and the Junction. They were joined by deejays like DJ Sneak, Daft Punk, and British singer Corrina Joseph. They mutated the night into an equally famous club named Rooty, which is the name of the band’s second album. (The gorilla on the cover is Snowflake, the world’s only albino* gorilla.)

In 1999, Basement Jaxx released their debut* full-length album, Remedy.

One of the songs on this album, “Red Alert”, was featured in the film Bend It Like Beckham, as well as commercials for Nickelodeon and Coca-Cola. Other songs on this album were “Jump N’ Shout”, “Bingo Bango”, and “Rendez Vu”, which is the band’s highest UK Singles Chart entry to peak at #4. Jaxx Unreleased, a compilation album of B-sides, remixes, and other material, was released in 1999 as well.

Their next album, Rooty, included the singles “Romeo”, “Jus 1 Kiss”, and “Where’s Your Head At?”. The music video for “Romeo” is a homage on the filming style of Bollywood. “Where’s Your Head At?”, the #39 peaker on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, became an international hit, appearing in media like Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure*, Kingdom Hospital*, and the soundtrack to Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. The game also appeared in a 2002 commercial for Pringles, and will appear in DJ Hero 2 as a mash-up with Dizzee Rascal’s “Bonkers”. The EP Xxtra Cutz was released afterwards, containing B-sides and remixes to songs from Rooty, such as “Where’s Your Head At?” and “Jus 1 Kiss”.

2003 became the publication year of the band’s third Grammy-winning album, Kish Kash.

Contributions were involved, from people like JC Chasez, Siouxsie Sioux, and Dizzee Rascal. The tracks “Lucky Star”, “Good Luck”, and “Plug It In” were released as singles. “Good Luck” was re-released in 2004, after exposure of being the theme to BBC’s Euro 2004 coverage and was also featured on the soundtracks of romantic comedy Just Married and anime science-fiction action-thriller Appleseed. The album was recognized at the 47th Grammy Awards, winning Buxton and Radcliffe the”Best Electronic/Dance Album” award. In 2005, Basement Jaxx’s compilation, The Singles, was released.

Singles like “Red Alert”, “Where’s Your Head At?”, and “Romeo” appeared on the compilation from past albums. A DVD video collection was included with the album, comprising all the singles from the previous three albums. (Remedy, Rooty, Kish Kash) Two new tracks, “Oh My Gosh” and “U Don’t Know Me”, were featured. The Singles (Special Edition) also released, which featured a new bonus disc called Bonus Traxx, containing many unreleased tracks, as well as remixes of existing singles. In 2005, Basement Jaxx appeared as the headline act on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury Festival after the previous act, Kylie Minogue, was pulled out after cancer diagnosis. The duo played with a live band made of the artists who recorded the album. Drumtech trained Nathan Curran was on drums for the festival, and has remained a constant performer.

In September 2006 at the United Kingdom, the fourth studio album, Crazy Itch Radio, was released.

“Hush Boy”, the first single, simultaneously released. The album featured guest vocalists such as Martina Sorbara (credited “Martina Bang”), Robyn, and Lily Allen. In 2006, Basement Jaxx was also one of the support acts for Robbie Williams on his “Close Encounters” tour. The band produced and wrote the track “Rocking Chair” for Cyndi Lauper’s tenth album, Bring Ya to the Brink in 2008. Basement Jaxx have become in-demand remixers in addition to their work. Their prominent work includes Missy Elliott’s “4 My People”, Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You”, and N*E*R*D’s “She Wants to Move”. Sophie Ellis-Bextor stated that she would like to collaborate with Basement Jaxx in the future, as well as The Botz and Garold Marks. The two were invited to write an exclusive music piece to accompany a work of art they admired in London’s Tate Museum, Karen Appel’s “Hip, Hip, Hoorah!” The work is not available for sale, but can be listened to in the gallery or the official site. The track, “Close Your Eyes” was featured in the Japanese CGI anime movie, Vexille.

In 2009, member Felix Buxton revealed in a BBC Radio 1 broadcast that their forthcoming album, Scars, was completed and being mastered. The tracks include guest appearances by Yoko Ono, Santigold, Lightspeed Champion and Yo! Majesty. The band was also interested in using Grace Jones for vocals. Scars was released in September 2009, thus making it the fifth (and most recent) album ever released.

Extensive touring took place with a band famous for its ‘carnival’ atmosphere featuring Vula Malinga, Sharlene Hector, Cassie Watson, Rhonda Humphrey, Slarta John, Nathan Curran, Oli Savil, Ben Edwards, Mike Kearsey, and Mark Brown.


So now that you know the whole history behind Basement Jaxx’s fame, it’s time to check out the GLOSSARY! I’ll be going from the 1st word to the last.

*House – House music is a style of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago in the early 1980s. House subgenres include acid house, ambient house, progressive house, euro house, and microhouse. Fusion genres include deep house, funky house, ghetto house, and house-pop. House artists include Daft Punk, Madonna, Roger Sanchez, and Hernàn Cattàneo.

*Albino (ahl-bye-noh) – An organism affected by albinism, a congenital disorder characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes to absence/defect of an enzyme involved in melanin production. This disorder has even spread onto animals, such as alligators, rats, and Snowflake, the albino gorilla featured on the cover of Rooty. Here is an example of albinism through an albino child:

*Debut (pronounced day-byoo) – The first performance of a musician or singer, such as their debut album. For example, here is Basement Jaxx’s debut album again, Remedy.

*Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure – A 2003 sports video game published by Activision and developed by Toys for Bob. It utilizes the game engine of Neversoft’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4. The game instead features characters from Toy Story, The Lion King, and Tarzan.

*Kingdom Hospital – A thirteen-episode comedy-horror miniseries based on Lars Von Trier’s The Kingdom. The miniseries first aired on ABC on March 3, 2004 but (due to being put on hold during NBA playoffs) concluded on July 15, spanning a good 4-month runtime before cancelling.


But anyways, thx for reading. Please like it (it was a lot of work) and subscribe plz. Man…writing a biography about a band is harder than I thought.

– Sam