HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Miss Nelson is Missing!
Author: Harry G. Allard Jr.
Illustrator: James Marshall
Publisher: Sandpiper, republished in 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0618852819 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0618852816 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0395252963 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0395252962 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Allard, Harry. Miss Nelson is Missing! (published in 1977 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children). Miss Nelson is the wonderful, kind, nice teacher in Room 207. However, the kids are taking advantage of her by always misbehaving, throwing spitballs and paper airplanes, and not paying attention. Then one morning, Miss Nelson does not come to school. Miss Viola Swamp is their new teacher. She’s mean. She puts them to work. There’s no story time. The kids are scared. They go to Miss Nelson’s house, but they see Miss Swamp on the street and run away. Was Miss Nelson gobbled up by a shark? Did she go to Mars? Was she carried off by a swarm of angry butterflies? Will she ever return?
This is a silly story that is intended to get across a good message about the consequences of improper behavior. Whether it does or not may depend on the age and nature of the child. The book is said to be for ages four and up, but a couple of reviewers complained that it might be a little too scary for the younger end of that age group, and others suggested that it would be better for older kids who can understand it, say around seven or eight. Also, it might not be appropriate for especially sensitive children. However, most reviewers liked it, and we thought that it was humorous. There are two other Miss Nelson books, Miss Nelson Is Back and Miss Nelson Has a Field Day, and all three are available as a set.