So, in the sixth Big Nate, Nate has had some spectacularly abysmal luck; with Mrs. Godfrey and his report card with a D in Social Studies, and that D wasn't really even his fault. There's a scene that basically undoes all the sympathy young readers might've had for Mrs. Godfrey at the end of the second book, which was one of my favourites of the collection. Then one day, thanks to helping out his friend Chad, Nate receives a lucky foot Chad has always held onto, which might be giving Nate the best time of his life, or not. Francis requires quite some factual proof but thankfully, we don't. But meanwhile, Nate is in a knot with Artur, who Nate has always been jealous of but this time might've gone too far and Chad is battling a 7th grader named Marcus who's like the Nolan of P.S. 38.
Just think of the "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day" episode of Big Nate and this should be what you get. Like that movie, I think many young readers will relate to Nate having the worst day possible to the point where you just want to scream until you lose your voice and sleep for a thousand days. AndI appreciate and admire Chad's dilemma with Maya. Their deal holds similarities to many people even in high school who have to choose which friend is better, more worth it, and what being a friend with one person instead of another might mean. We also finally touch on a few points involving Artur who was the antagonist in the third book. So, the book is I think very good in the middle, but there are certain times where I felt the characters were getting pummelled a little too often. Like, for instance, Nate's band. Lots of people have flops but their flop was the flop of all flop ups and I wish it wasn't. And the final little boss fight that needs to happen at the end of a book to be whelming is a little too underwhelming.
Still, Big Nate In the Zone is still as funny as always. Not as much as Flips Out, but it's admirable.