My Life as a Book

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My Life As A Book
My Life as a Book.jpg
AuthorJanet Tashjian
IllustratorJake Tashjian
PublisherHenry Holt and Co
Publication date

My Life As a Book is a middle grade novel by Janet Tashjian, illustrated by her teenage son, Jake Tashjian. It is the first book in the My Life As a... series. It is published by many companies. It is used in many schools as well as several citywide reads. It has been translated into ten languages including Spanish, Catalan, Hebrew, Turkish, Czech, and German. Its sequels - My Life As a Stuntboy and My Life As a Cartoonist - have also been translated into several languages.

The novel tells the story of Derek Fallon, a twelve-year-old boy who finds reading difficult. As a way to learn his vocabulary words, he illustrates them in the margins of the book. When he discovers a newspaper in the attic with the story of a girl who drowned on Martha's Vineyard, he spends his summer trying to uncover the mystery of what happened instead of completing his summer reading list.

Settings: Martha's Vineyard, Store, Animal Care, Derek's House


Tashjian wanted to write a book for reluctant readers with the humor and visual support of a Calvin and Hobbes book. (The novel is dedicated to Bill Waterson.) She incorporated the methods of several reading programs into the novels such as Lindamood Bell’s ‘Visualizing and Verbalizing’ and Maryanne Wolf’s ‘Rave-O.’

Awards and reviews[edit]

“A kinder, gentler Wimpy Kid with all the fun and more plot.” Kirkus, starred review.