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Comics for All Ages: Big Nate

Find Big Nate at your library!

Big Nate

Peirce, Lincoln. Big Nate and Friends. Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC: Kansas City, 2011. Print.

Big Nate and Friends cover

Big Nate and Friends is not set up like a traditional graphic novel. There is not a wide overarching theme throughout the entire book, nor is it divided into chapters. This book is instead set up like a collection of comic strips with a certain number of strips containing four panels that are connected and then a “Sunday” style strip that is bigger than the regular strips and that also breaks the panel conventions. Big Nate and Friends tells the story of sixth-grader Nate, a typical middle school boy dodging strict teachers, trying to get girls to take him seriously, all while playing chess. Nate has the help of his two best friends, Francis and Teddy, the ones who have seen him through all of his craziest moments, yet still seem to go along with whatever crazy plan he comes up with next.

Visual and textual style: black and white, traditional four panel layout with exception of “Sunday” type strips, large type, realistic, conversational

Potential readers/appeal factors: set in middle school, romance, school life, fans of the Captain Underpants series and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books will like Big Nate, friendship, humor, similar to Calvin and Hobbes


  • Big Nate: The Boy With the Biggest Head in the World (the UK title), the US title is Big Nate: In a Class by Himself, won the Lambeth Phoenix Book Award for 2012
  • Big Nate has been on the New York Times Bestsellers List.
  • Big Nate: In a Class by Himself
    • Nominated for the 2013 Young Readers Choice Awards of the Pacific Northwest, won the 2012-2013 Great Stone Face Book Award in New Hampshire, won a 2011 Read Kiddo Read “Pageturner” award, Finalist for the 5th-6th Grade Book of the Year Children’s Choice Book Award
  • Lincoln Peirce, Big Nate and world-wide fans have set a new world record by creating the longest cartoon strip by a team. Check it out here.

Other pertinent information

  • You can visit Big Nate’s website at
  • GoComics has a new Big Nate comic every day AND a full color comic every Sunday! Visit to see.
  • If you have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, you can download the Big Nate Comix by U! app to create your own Big Nate Comic.
  • Big Nate has been made into a stage musical that was put on in Maryland.

Subject Guide

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