New York Times best-selling author, Lincoln Peirce, is back with everyone’s favorite troublemaker, Big Nate, in Big Nate: Payback Time! (Andrews McMeel) Lincoln’s unique comic-styled writing allows readers to follow Nate’s adventures from frame to frame with all his mayhem illustrated.

Like many energetic sixth grade boys, Big Nate and his friends are always up to something new. In this recently released installment, when we first meet Nate, he is convinced that he has become allergic to his teacher. Many suspect Nate’s claimed allergies are merely a convenient and quirky excuse to get out of class. However, their suspicions lessen when they see Nate experiencing unpleasant reactions like nonstop sneezing and hives. To Nate’s dismay, he discovers that he is not allergic to his teacher at all, just her new perfume. As our disappointed heroine must continue to attend class, this misadventure sets the stage for further hilarious hijinks of Nate’s life at school.

Nate, like many boys his age, has confidence through the roof and a tendency to exaggerate his stories. This quality first manifests itself when Nate must face an old camp rival at a school soccer game. Nate dramatically announces to everyone that he cannot lose to his rival. Since he is the goalie and cannot leave his position, he insists that everyone must do their best to keep his rival from taking shots on the goal. Through good teamwork, offense, defense and a little bit of luck, Nate’s team obtains the win. However, if you ask Nate, the team victory was due to his own skills and efforts. This version of the story circulated throughout school and even made its way into the school newspaper. His teammates knew he was being a little over the top, but they also knew that was just Nate being Nate.

Although Nate has fun with is extracurricular activities, he still finds many things at school that annoy him. Looking for an outlet at school, Nate opens a “Complaint Department” where he can voice his thoughts on a variety of different topics to whoever visits his table. This latest scheme comes to an abrupt end when his friend reminds him that he has food to eat, clothes to wear, a roof over his head and thus not too much to complain about.

Nate continues his mischief throughout the book with many more adventures you’ll want to read for yourself. There is something different on every page. Underneath the humor of Big Nate and his ventures, Peirce was able to sneak in a few important life lessons as well. Nate may have an “all that” attitude but he still understands the importance of friendship as well as trying your hardest when it comes to what you are striving for, even if what he is striving for is getting a “student lounge” for his school.

Peirce always does a wonderful job creating a character that preteens can relate to in one way or another. Whether they relate to him and his mischief personally or find entertainment in his adventures, it encourages them to read. A mission for this target age group easier said than done, but one Peirce continues to expertly manage.

Big Nate: Payback Time! is now available for purchase.


Photo by Jessica Gandolf

Lincoln Peirce (pronounced “purse”) is a cartoonist/writer and New York Times bestselling author of the hilarious Big Nate book series (, now published in twenty-five countries worldwide and available as ebooks and audiobooks and as an app, Big Nate: Comix by U! He is also the creator of the comic strip Big Nate. It appears in over three hundred U.S. newspapers and online daily at Lincoln’s boyhood idol was Charles Schulz of Peanuts fame, but his main inspiration for Big Nate has always been his own experience as a sixth grader. Just like Nate, Lincoln loves comics, ice hockey, and Cheez Doodles (and dislikes cats, figure skating, and egg salad). His Big Nate books have been featured on Good Morning America and in the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles TimesUSA Today, and the Washington Post. He has also written for Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. Lincoln lives with his wife and two children in Portland, Maine.

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