Gary Gets the Grade | Brian Edwards


Gary Gets the Grade by Brian Edwards and illustrated by Keddan Savage

Out now from TCK Publishing; 32 pages

About the Author: “Brian Edwards is a new author out of Houston Texas. He has spent 7 years working as a private tutor in the education industry. Brian believes that all children can learn and that they should be introduced to the opportunity and the resources to be able to experience the transformative academic progress that one on one tutoring can provide. Brian is also the President, and Executive Director for Building Knowledge Everywhere, a non-profit organization based out of Houston Texas that assists children from under-resourced communities with one-on-one tutoring” (Bio from Barnes & Noble).

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About the Illustrator: “Keddan Savage is a fine artist and graphic designer working in oils, acrylics, sculpture and other media. He has developed artwork for several children’s books, designed company logos and cover art for musicians. He finds creating art a rewarding experience no matter what medium he is working in” (Bio from Blue Banyan Books). 

Find Keddan Savage on the following platforms:

“Gary smiled and felt accomplished. He had finally made the grade.” 

Gary has a problem: he can’t get an A on his math tests. He’s been having trouble understanding the content but is too shy to ask the adults in his life for help. Instead, he turns to his friends, and while they have good intentions, their advice isn’t exactly the most helpful. Can Gary summon up the courage to open up about his struggles and secure his A?

Even though this picture book is aimed toward children, I think we can all take its lesson to heart: it’s okay to ask for help. Gary’s hesitance to ask for help is unfortunately something a lot of people can relate to, which is why books that introduce children to the importance of being vulnerable and trusting your loved ones are so important! Boys especially are often taught to suppress their emotions, and while that’s not explicitly a theme of this book, it’s refreshing to see a boy grappling with his feelings and learning to ask others for help. While I love the message of this story, I couldn’t ignore the numerous grammatical issues in the story, particularly the lack of much-needed commas. Since this book centers around academics, it would’ve been prudent for the author to consider how improper grammar might negatively impact children learning to read and write from picture books like his. It detracts from an otherwise wonderful story! 

Aruna Sreenivasan, Pine Reads Review Assistant Director