In this first book of an illustrated middle grade series by a #1 New York Times-bestselling author, Marc learns to become a Warrior Kid after his uncle Jake, a Navy SEAL, comes to stay for the summer.
Fifth grade was the worst year of Marc’s life. He stunk at gym class, math was too hard for him, the school lunch was horrible, and his class field trip was ruined because he couldn’t swim. And the most awful thing about fifth grade? Kenny Williamson, the class bully, who calls himself the King of the Jungle Gym.
When Marc’s mother tells him that his uncle Jake is coming to stay for the whole summer, Marc can’t wait. Uncle Jake is a for-real, super-cool Navy SEAL. And Uncle Jake has a plan.
He’s going to turn Marc into a warrior.
Becoming a warrior isn’t easy. It involves a lot of pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups, squats, swimming, eating right, and studying harder than ever before! Can Marc transform himself into a warrior before school starts in the fall–and finally stand up to the King of the Jungle Gym?
Find out in Jocko Willink's Way of the Warrior Kid.
Way of the Warrior Kid is a middle grade novel written by #1 New York Times-bestselling author and retired Navy SEAL Jocko Willink. Jocko Willink is the coauthor of the adult book Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win and the author of Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual. Way of the Warrior Kid is illustrated throughout with art by Jon Bozak.
Praise for Way of the Warrior Kid:
"Willink, a leadership instructor and retired SEAL, places worthwhile emphasis on physical activity, mental sharpness, and hard work." Publishers Weekly
"In this first installment of a new series, Willink, a retired decorated Navy SEAL officer brings his training in fitness, learning, nutrition, and tactics to a new levelthe middle-grade level young readers will enjoy. Although the topic meant to inspire kids, seriousness is eased with Willink’s sense of humor and with Bozak’s hilarious comic-style illustrations." Children's Literature
Praise for the audiobook:
"Narrator Thor Willink, the author's son, sounds just about Marc's age, and his dad voices the adults. This choice lends a personal note...The audio version has plenty of humor." School Library Journal
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Way of the Warrior Kid
From Wimpy to Warrior the Navy Seal Way
By Jocko Willink, Jon Bozak
Feiwel and FriendsCopyright © 2017 Jocko Willink
All rights reserved.
THE WORST YEAR
Tomorrow is the last day of school, and I CAN'T WAIT FOR IT TO BE OVER!! This has been the worst year EVER! The bad part is that I don't see how next year is going to be any better at all. Fifth grade was horrible — I'm afraid sixth grade will be EVEN WORSE. Why was it so bad? Where do I begin?
Top five reasons why fifth grade was HORRIBLE:
1. It's school! I'm sitting at a desk ALL DAY.
2. I learned that I'm dumb! That's right. All the other grades I thought I was "smart." But this year was a FAILURE! I still don't know my times tables! How the heck am I going to make it through next year?
3. School lunches. They call it "pizza." I have no idea why. Since when does a piece of white bread count as pizza crust???????
4. Gym class. Most people like gym. But at my school we have "tests" and I completely stink. Especially at PULL-UPS. Guess how many pull-ups I can do? ZERO! I can do ZERO pull-ups! I'm a disgrace to ten-year-olds — and the whole class knows it. Even the girls. Especially the girls that can do more pull-ups than me!!
5. Field trips. Just like gym class, most kids like field trips. Well, we go to one place for field trips: Mount Tom. We go there in the fall before it gets too cold and in the spring when it starts to get warm. But here's the thing: Mount Tom isn't a mountain. It's a lake. Here's the problem: I CAN'T SWIM! I hid it pretty well during our fall trip. But this spring, kids noticed. "Why don't you come out in the water?" "Why are you staying on the beach?" "Why don't you jump off the diving board?" What kind of person can't even swim? ME: That's what kind of person! AAAHHH!
6. I know I said top five reasons, but there is one more, and it's probably the biggest reason: Kenny Williamson. He is big and he is MEAN. He rules the jungle gym. He even calls himself "King of the Jungle Gym" or "King Kenny"!! If any other kids want to play on the jungle gym, they either have to be friends with Kenny or follow his "rules."
All the teachers talk about how my school is "bully-free." We even had a No Bully Day, where we talked about bullying and how bad it was and how we should tell the teachers if we saw it happening. Well, let me tell you, Kenny is definitely a BULLY, and he definitely is in my school. And no one says anything to the teachers about it!
Those are the top reasons that fifth grade was horrible, and sixth grade isn't going to be much better! I can't wait for school to be over tomorrow so the suffering can STOP and summer can START!
This summer is going to be AWESOME. Yes, it is cool that I won't have to be in school — but something even cooler is happening. My uncle Jake is coming to stay with us for the whole summer!
He has been a Navy SEAL for eight years and is getting out of the Navy to go to college. Before he goes to college, he is going to stay with us the whole summer long. A Navy SEAL! FOR REAL. IN MY HOUSE!!!!!
Uncle Jake is the best. First, he is super cool because he is a Navy SEAL. He fought in real wars. My mom says he was "on the front lines." That means he was face-to-face with the bad guys. Whoa! Uncle Jake is also awesome because he is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF ME. I am weak — he is strong. I am dumb — he is smart. I can't swim — he can swim with a backpack on! I'm scared of bullies — bullies are scared of him!
Anyway, I haven't spent too much time with Uncle Jake because we live in California, and he has been stationed in Virginia for a long time. I hope he doesn't think I'm such a DUMB WIMP that he won't even hang around with me! Maybe he won't notice?
AAHHHHH!!! Of course he will. He is a tough guy! I'm a dork! Well, I guess I will find out soon.CHAPTER 2
THE WORST DAY
Today was the absolute worst day OF MY LIFE. I know the last day of school is SUPPOSED to be fun, but let me tell you, it was miserable, horrible, awful, and terrible. How can that be? Where do I start?
First, it was Sports Day, which is SUPPOSED to be fun. It means we are out at the recess area all morning playing a bunch of games and challenges and stuff. Not just stuff like soccer and basketball but also things like three-legged races, bobbing for apples, and potato-sack races. We would do each activity for a while until we were told to "rotate" by the teachers, and then we would go on to the next activity. At first it wasn't so bad. No one was taking it that seriously, and everyone was just kind of having fun.
That meant no one really noticed how LAME I was at all these different sports and games. Especially because Fred Turner was in my group, and he is even worse than I am at everything. So it wasn't too bad.
UNTIL PULL-UP TIME. That's right. One of the activities we were doing was pullups and push-ups and stuff on the jungle gym. WITH EVERYONE WATCHING! So I did what any smart, weak kid would do: I HID! I went to the back of the line and just kind of blended in. When the other kids would jump on the pull-up bar, everyone would count for them. Mike Swearington did eighteen. Billy Hacker did twenty-two! Jennifer Phillips, who does gymnastics, did twenty-seven!
There I was, standing in the back watching, hiding, and waiting for this to end.
Then, it was King of the Jungle Gym Kenny Williamson's turn. He went up and did eleven, which is actually pretty good when you consider how HUGE he is. He didn't seem to care, until someone yelled from the crowd, "He's not as strong as he looks!" There was some laughter, and I saw Kenny getting madder and madder. He wasn't sure what to do until he saw me looking at him, and our eyes locked.
He slowly raised his finger and pointed it straight at me.
"What about him?" Kenny barked. The crowd suddenly got quiet as Kenny stood pointing at me.
"He hasn't gone yet! Let's see what Marc can do!" This was pure evil. Kenny knew very well that I couldn't do any pull-ups. He had seen me in gym class trying to do one for the last year and failing every time. I shrank farther back into the crowd. "Come on, Marc! Get on up here!" Kenny yelled.
At that moment, someone shoved me from behind, forcing me out of the pack and into the open. I couldn't hide anymore.
Mr. Maguire, the teacher in charge of this activity, turned and looked at me. "Have you gone yet, Marc?" he asked.
"No, Mr. Maguire. But I'm ..." I tried to think of some kind of an excuse. I'm sick? But I just did all the other games. I got hurt? But how could I get hurt watching people do pull-ups? The dog ate my pull-ups?
"Then jump on up there, Marc," said Mr. Maguire with a stern but encouraging look. "Let's see what you've got."
"Okay," I said. I slowly made my way to the pull-up bar. The entire crowd was staring right at me. All I saw were eyes everywhere.
"Go ahead, Marc. Get up there," said Mr. Maguire.
"Yeah," shouted Kenny. "Let's see what you got!"
I finally got to the pull-up bar and looked up at it. I wished so hard that this one time I could do some pull-ups. Or that I could just disappear. "Come on, Marc, let's go," said Mr. Maguire.
"Yeah, Marc, let's go," added Kenny, mocking Mr. Maguire.
The crowd became completely quiet as I reached up. I bent my legs, jumped up, and grabbed the bar. I hung there. I started to pull. Nothing happened. I pulled harder. Nothing happened. I wiggled my body around. Nothing happened. Finally, with all my might, I pulled as hard as I have ever pulled anything in my entire life. I went up about two inches, then stopped. I pulled more but didn't move any higher. Slowly, gravity brought me back down. I dropped off the bar.
"ZERO!!!!!!" Kenny yelled at the top of his lungs. "A. BIG. FAT. ZERO."
The crowd joined in: "Zero! Zero! Zero! Zero!" I hung my head and tried to become invisible.
"All right, all right," Mr. Maguire said, trying to quiet the crowd. "Not everyone can do a pull-up."
Then, from the back of the crowd, someone blurted out, "He can't swim, either!" Everyone laughed. Even though I know that not being able to do pull-ups and not being able to swim don't make you a bad person, I had had enough. I could feel tears building up in my eyes. I didn't want anyone to see me cry, so I ran. I ran off the recess field, through the courtyard, and behind the library, where no one ever goes. I sat down, and that was it. I cried like a little baby.
That was my last day of school.CHAPTER 3
THE BEGINNING OF SUMMER
"What's wrong?" my mom asked as I sat at the table eating breakfast. After yesterday, it was hard to even PRETEND to be happy. I tried.
"Nothing. I'm fine," I told her with a forced smile.
"Come on, Marc. What's bothering you?" That is the thing with my mom. She understands enough to know that I'm not happy, but even if I told her what was wrong, what could she do about it? She couldn't make me stronger. She couldn't make Kenny Williamson leave me alone. So what is the point in telling her what was wrong? If I did, she would say something like, "Well, that boy is just jealous because you are smarter than he is," or "You'll get stronger when you get a little older," or "Don't worry about what other people say, because I know how very special you are."
While I know that my mom means well here, the fact of the matter is Kenny Williamson is not jealous of me. It doesn't matter if I get stronger when I'm older, I'm weak now!!!!! And of course my mom thinks I'm special — she's my MOM! So seriously, there was no point in telling my mom what was really wrong.
"I'm just going to miss my friends over the summer," I told her.
"Awwwwww," she answered. "Well, we can make sure you get to play with them a lot this summer."
"Thanks, Mom," I told her, hoping that she would just leave me alone. My mom is really nice, but she works a ton and is always at her office, and a lot of the time it seems she just doesn't really understand me. That's okay. I know she is trying to be nice. My dad is nice, too, but he is gone most of the time, traveling for his job and stuff.
"I'll tell you what," she added, "your uncle Jake arrives in about an hour. Do you want to come pick him up with me?" "YES!" I shouted. I had forgotten the exact day that Uncle Jake was supposed to get here, but now I remembered it was today! "Yes! That's great."
"Okay, then," she said. "Clear the table and we'll head out."
After I cleaned up the table, we got into the car and headed to the airport. I was excited about Uncle Jake coming, but I was also kinda nervous. He's a Navy SEAL — an official tough guy. And not tough like the guys in the movies that just act tough — Uncle Jake is the real deal. So, even though he probably won't want to hang around with me much, at least I will get to see him a little.
At the airport, we parked the car and headed to the terminal to pick him up.
I stood there looking through the glass at the passengers coming down the hallway. There were families, businessmen, college students, and a bunch of other regular-looking people arriving and walking from their planes. Then I saw him. He was walking at a steady pace, right toward us.
He seemed to know where he was going. He had a very serious look on his face. He looked STRONG. He was wearing a short-sleeved shirt, and his arms were big! While all the other people seemed to be thinking about themselves, Uncle Jake was slowly looking around, scanning the whole area. Then he saw my mom and me. His head locked on our position. We waved.
Suddenly, his serious face cracked, he let out a big smile, and he waved back to us. AWESOME! He walked through the door and came over to us. He hugged my mom and said, "How ya doin', big sister?" which was funny because he was A LOT bigger than she was. Then he looked at me, held out his hand, and said, "Little man?" I shook his hand. His hand was different. It was big and strong and rough — it felt like leather more than skin. "Is that all ya got?" he said.
"What?" I replied, not entirely sure what he was talking about.
"That handshake. Is that as hard as you can squeeze?"
I squeezed harder.
"Better," said Uncle Jake. "We'll work on that."
"Okay," I replied. COOL! We were going to work on that. That means we were going to work together. So I guess we will do some stuff together! We made our way over to the baggage claim so Uncle Jake could get his bags. He had one green army backpack on and another camouf lage duffel bag. He threw the duffel bag at the ground in front of me.
"You carry that — it will make you stronger," he said with a smile on his face.
"No problem," I told him, happy to be able to carry a really cool-looking army bag. I picked it up — it was heavy — and put it over my shoulder. We started to walk back to the car.
This was AWESOME. Uncle Jake is tough — but he isn't just tough. He is also cool and NICE.
This is going to be the best summer ever.CHAPTER 4
Well, today was awesome and then terrible and then, I think, awesome again. When we got home, I realized Uncle Jake was staying in my room! We were going to be roommates for the whole summer. My mom has a little fold-out guest bed that she put in my room for me. The mattress is thin and kind of uncomfortable, but I don't care. Uncle Jake is using my bed for the summer. So we got all that figured out, and Uncle Jake put his stuff in some of my drawers and some other stuff in my closet. Then we went down and ate dinner.
During dinner, my mom asked Uncle Jake a bunch of questions about everything. He has been in the SEAL Teams for eight years, and he told her about a bunch of the cool things he has done. They are all things that any kid would love to do, like parachuting, scuba diving, rappelling out of helicopters, and blowing things up with explosives — all the time!
He also talked about being in war. He said the hard part wasn't the missions or carrying all that gear or being afraid — he said the hard parts were the times when his friends got hurt or killed.
After dinner, we went upstairs to go "square away" (that's an Uncle Jake term!) my room before it got too late. This is when things got BAD.
Uncle Jake asked me what I was doing the next day. "Are you going to meet with some of your friends? Go play some basketball or soccer or something?"
"I'm not that great at sports," I told him.
"You don't have to be good to have fun."
"Well, it's not really that fun when you aren't good," I answered, already feeling like a big wimp.
"Okay. How about a swim? There has got to be someplace to go swimming around here, right?"
When he said that, I suddenly felt terrible. Here I was with my own uncle who wants to go swimming with me, but I can't because I don't even know how to swim! I felt like I didn't even deserve him as an uncle. Tears suddenly welled up in my eyes, and I blurted out, "I can't swim."
"What do you mean you can't swim?" he asked.
"I mean I can't swim."
"At all?" he questioned me.
"At all. I can't swim at all." As I said that, I finally just burst. Tears came streaming out of my eyes. Then I told him everything that I didn't tell my mom. Everything. "Not only that, but I can't do any pull-ups. I'm probably the weakest kid in the school." The tears really started coming down now. Even though I was looking like a complete baby, I couldn't stop myself from crying or talking. "And it's not just that. I don't know my times tables yet! I'm almost eleven years old, and I don't know my times tables!!!!"
"Okay, you know there's —" Uncle Jake was trying to tell me something, but I cut him off. I can't believe it, but I butted right in and started talking over him.
"And the worst part is, I get bullied. Almost every day I have to do what Kenny Williamson tells me to do!!"
"Who's Kenny Williamson?" asked Uncle Jake. "A teacher?"
"No!" I shouted. "He's another kid. A bully!"
"All right, I get it," Uncle Jake said. "Is that it?"
"Is that it???? I get picked on by a bully, made fun of because I can't do any pull-ups, I don't know what eight times seven is, and I don't even know how to swim!! How much worse can it get???" I said loudly.
"Good," said Uncle Jake.
"Good?" I asked. "How the heck is all that good?"
"It's good because every one of those problems is something you can change. Every one of them."
I didn't know what to say. Here I was, a complete mess, crying over my situation. But Uncle Jake was calm, so calm it made me start to get calm, too.
"Look, Marc," he said, "when I joined the Navy, I could only do seven pull-ups. Now I can do forty-seven. I wasn't a great swimmer. Now I can swim like a fish. I also didn't do that well in school, but when I got into SEAL training, I learned how to learn and ended up doing great on all the academic tests. And finally, when I first got into the SEAL Teams, I knew nothing about fighting. But now I can handle myself in any situation."
"Of course you can! You're a Navy SEAL!"
"You are missing the point. I wasn't born like this! I had to work for it. I had to learn it. I had to EARN it. And what I am telling you is that instead of being a wimpy kid, you can be a Warrior Kid."
WARRIOR KID??!?!?! I wasn't exactly sure what that really meant, but it sounded AWESOME.
"What is a Warrior Kid?" I asked.
Excerpted from Way of the Warrior Kid by Jocko Willink, Jon Bozak. Copyright © 2017 Jocko Willink. Excerpted by permission of Feiwel and Friends.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Worst Year,
Chapter 2: The Worst Day,
Chapter 3: The Beginning of Summer,
Chapter 4: Roommates,
Chapter 5: Warrior Kid,
Chapter 6: The Program Begins,
Chapter 7: What it Means to Be a Warrior,
Chapter 8: A Gift of Strength,
Chapter 9: The Eights,
Chapter 10: Jiu-Jitsu,
Chapter 11: Hydrophobia,
Chapter 12: Discipline Equals Freedom,
Chapter 13: Pull-Up Number One,
Chapter 14: Flash Card Fury,
Chapter 15: Tap Out!,
Chapter 16: Fueling the Machine,
Chapter 17: Fish in the Water,
Chapter 18: Chasing Records and Breaking Plateaus,
Chapter 19: Presidents, Capitals, and Gettysburg,
Chapter 20: Marc Versus Goliath on the Mat,
Chapter 21: Super Aquaman,
Chapter 22: Ten!,
Chapter 23: Stand Alone,
Chapter 24: First Days Back to School,
Chapter 25: Letter to Uncle Jake,
About the Author and Illustrator,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Get these books for your children and for yourself! Great series!
the way of the warrior kid is the best book i ever reed in my life !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!