Click to order now!My Life as a Book

MyLifeAsABookBy Janet Tashjian with awesome illustrations by Jake Tashjian

Download the new My Life As a . . . Series Common Core Guide and Worksheets for your classroom! Prepared by Maureen Connolly and Janet Tashjian, this 15-page guide has fun ideas to explore all four books in this fabulous series. Enjoy! Use this guide to also generate service learning experiences; here’s a Service Learning Proposal to help your students turn ideas into action.  

Summer’s finally here, and Derek Fallon is looking forward to spending his summer pelting the UPS truck with water balloons, climbing onto the garage roof, and conducting silly investigations. Instead the summer reading list threatens to make him miserable. Then, when his parents send him to Learning Camp, Derek’s dreams of fun come to an end. Ever since he’s been labeled a “reluctant reader,” his mom has pushed him to read “real” books—something other than his beloved Calvin & Hobbes.

As Derek forges unexpected friendships and uncovers a family secret involving himself (in diapers! no less), he realizes that adventures and surprises are around the corner, complete with curve balls.

Along the way, Derek illustrates his vocabulary works with amusing images. This technique helps him demystify the hard words and makes reading a breeze.

Filled with action, humor, a heartfelt resolution, and plenty of drawings.

Service Learning Ideas: Literacy and More   These books easily inspire kids to make their own vocabulary cards or cartoons for readers who need support. Drawings would be also valuable for learners with a variety of special needs, or people learning a new language – imagine bilingual vocab cards. Possibilities abound!

The first of three (with more to come) of the most ingenious and fun-to-read books, ever. Each book shares the adventures of Derek Fallon who has energy to spare and finds some form of mischief about every corner. Along the way, we are completely enthralled by the hundreds of stick figure vocabulary drawings by teen illustrator Jake Tashjian. This mother/son duo rocks! Inspires any young reader, even reluctant one, and all these books are great for read-alouds. Be sure to visit their website at to watch videos and submit your own illustrations to Jake!

Contact CBK Associates to schedule an Author’s Visit.


“Janet Tashjian, known for her young adult books, offers a novel that’s part Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2007), part intriguing mystery; yet the best element here is really the first-person voice, which captures so completely the pushes and pulls in the life of someone with learning disabilities. . . . Give this to kids who think they don’t like reading. It might change their minds.”—Booklist, Starred Review

“A kinder, gentler Wimpy Kid with all the fun and more plot.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Sure to engage fans of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid books (Abrams) as well as those looking for a spunky, contemporary boy with a mystery to solve.”—School Library Journal

“[The] illustrations, drawn by Tashjian’s 14-year-old son, Jake, are quite clever.”—Publishers Weekly

My Life as a Book is a fabulous, fast-paced choice for reluctant and avid readers alike.”—BookPage

“Cartoon drawings by the author’s teenaged son decorate the margins and not only re-create Derek’s illustrated vocabulary lists but also reduce the amount of text on each page, making the book more approachable for kids like Derek. Derek tells readers, ‘If my life were a book, I’d have my own cool adventures.’ It is, and he does.”—The Horn Book

“This book is visually appealing to reluctant readers and shows that all kinds of stories can surprise us.”—Chicago Tribune

240 pages   Ages 9 and up

Order My Life as a Book My Life as a Book @ $6.99