Young readers, or early chapter books, can be a lot of fun. Sometimes these books lack in substance or storyline, but with J.D. and the Great Barber Battle, this was not the case. I had so much fun reading this funny chapter book full of up-to-date references kids will get a kick out of.

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The summary, from Amazon:

Eight-year-old J.D. turns a tragic home haircut into a thriving barber business in this hilarious new illustrated chapter book series

J.D. has a big problem–it’s the night before the start of third grade and his mom has just given him his first and worst home haircut. When the steady stream of insults from the entire student body of Douglass Elementary becomes too much for J.D., he takes matters into his own hands and discovers that, unlike his mom, he’s a genius with the clippers. His work makes him the talk of the town and brings him enough hair business to open a barbershop from his bedroom. But when Henry Jr., the owner of the only official local barbershop, realizes he’s losing clients to J.D., he tries to shut him down for good. How do you find out who’s the best barber in all of Meridian, Mississippi? With a GREAT BARBER BATTLE!

From the hilarious and creative mind of J. Dillard, an entrepreneur, public speaker, and personal barber, comes a new chapter book series with characters that are easy to fall for and nearly impossible to forget. Akeem S. Roberts’ lively illustrations make this series a must-buy for reluctant readers.

Buy J.D. and the Great Barber Battle here.

When J.D.’s mom gives him a horrible haircut the day before third grade, J.D. is forced to take matters into his own hands. He quickly realizes that not only is he a good artist, but he’s a natural barber! J.D.’s friends go from teasing him for his bad haircut to praising him for his skills, showing up to his house to pay him $3 for a haircut.

J.D. saves up his money to buy things to spruce up his bedroom barber shop and a video game console. He’s making a lot of money and having fun! But he’s taking away business from the local barber, who tries to get him shutdown. J.D. stands up to him, challenging him to a haircut competition that draws the whole town.

This was such a fun read. I was laughing by the second page! While the pop culture references might keep it from becoming a classic, it will resonate with kids today. I loved all of the references to athletes and other celebrities with great and not-so-great hair.

This is definitely the first in a series, with a tidy ending that then provides a little bit of a plot twist for Book 2. There are memorable characters who kids will look forward to revisiting in other books. My favorite had to be J.D.’s friend Jessyka, the only girl on the football team.

I loved that this book included plenty of multiplication and division in the plot in such a seamless way.

It’s safe to say I absolutely loved this read and have to give it 5 stars!


Find out more about how I rate books here.

J.D. and the Great Barber BattleJ.D. and the Great Barber Battle by J Dillard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The best young reader chapter book I have read in a while! I was laughing by the second page. I love how this book incorporates math into the storyline. With so many pop culture references, it might not be timeless, but it has big kid appeal for today.

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Book Club Questions

  1. Which of J.D.’s friends/family members was your favorite? Why?
  2. Why do you think J.D. is such a good barber? Which of his other skills might lend to this?
  3. Why does J.D. take up the offer at the end of the book? Do you think this was a good decision?


Interested? Buy J.D. and the Great Barber Battle.
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