The Best of Iggy

The Best of Iggy cover

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Book Review

*The Best of Iggy* by Annie Barrows shows how Iggy often acts without thinking, convinced his pranks will be funny. But then he accidentally hurts a favorite teacher.

Plot Summary

Nine-year-old Iggy Frangi believes there are three types of things people wish they hadn’t done. Number one, there are the things they *say* they wish they hadn’t done. What they really mean is they’re sorry they got caught. Category two includes things people wish they hadn’t done quite as extensively as they did. And third, there are the things people really, utterly wish they hadn’t done. With the aid of comic drawings, Iggy shares an example of each category from his personal catalog of mistakes.

Iggy’s error in the first category involves a neighbor named Jeremy. Jeremy appears to be the perfect child, who plays the cello and never does anything wrong. Iggy tries to seem cool by riding his skateboard off the roof of the shed onto the trampoline.

When Jeremy climbs on the roof to try it himself, Iggy prepares to pull him down to safety. The boy thinks Iggy is attacking him and jumps off. Iggy’s and Jeremy’s parents come outside just in time to witness a scene that makes Iggy look guilty. Jeremy isn’t hurt, so Iggy secretly thinks the whole situation was funny.

In the second scenario, Iggy’s older sister is supposed to be watching him after school. She and her friend aren’t paying attention to him, so he goes into the bathroom and covers himself in shaving cream and makeup. He ruins Mom’s lipstick by trying to make himself look bloody. He comes out yelling just as Mom comes home, which scares her and his sister. In hindsight, he wishes he hadn’t taken it so far. No one got hurt, though.

Iggy’s final mistake is worse. He loves his cool teacher, Ms. Schulberger. He and his friends secretly call her “Puttzi” because she drives a tiny putt-putt car. One day, the desks in their classroom are temporarily replaced with old-school desks whose tops lift up and have seats attached.

Iggy and his friends are awed by them, imagining they could drive them around the room like cars. They decide to have a race the next day in class. The first person to Puttzi wins. The boys take off and barrel toward the teacher.

Iggy accidentally runs his desk into her and injures her knee. Ms. Schulberger cries. Iggy gets suspended. Mr. Schulberger comes into the classroom and terrifies Iggy with his anger.

Iggy really is sorry this time. He presents the teacher with a flower drawing and a note that has “I’m sorry” written 100 times. He also gives her candy bars purchased with his own money. He explains he just thought it would be funny. He promises he’ll try to be better, and Ms. Schulberger forgives him.

Christian Beliefs

None

Other Belief Systems

None

Authority Roles

Iggy’s parents allow very little screen time and punish him for his disrespectful behavior toward others. Ms. Schulberger is a creative and kind teacher who readily forgives Iggy when she sees his remorse. Mr. Schulberger comes into the classroom to defend his wife after Iggy’s prank. His sturdy physical appearance scares Iggy, even though the man only whispers to him never to do something like that again.

Profanity & Violence

The lesser word “hecka” appears a few times

Sexual Content

None

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments

Lying: In an effort to look cool, Iggy lies and tells Jeremy he skateboards off the shed roof all the time.

Bathroom humor: Iggy sings a song about pee while he’s hanging out alone in the back yard.

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

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