28 March 2011

Book of the Week (93): "Dear Dumb Diary: Let's Pretend This Never Happened" by Jim Benton

These are the diaries of Jamie Kelly, a girl for whom life is never easy. Sarcastic, gloomy, slightly cynical (with hair like that, who wouldn’t be?) and beset with problems – mainly caused by the oh-so-perfect Angelique – Jamie suffers through middle school. She trusts her innermost thoughts to her diary, and that is what we read – a dairy complete with cartoon-style illustrations and complaints about everything including school, teachers, Stinker the dog (he stinks AND eats her homework), her hair (which will never be long, blonde and perfect), boys and life generally. Luckily for us her complaints are hilarious.

So hilarious that, despite Jamie being a girl, these books are too good to keep just for female readers – boys get them too. In fact they make a perfect ‘next’ after the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.

In America the Dear Dumb Diary series is up to book twelve, though here in the UK we’re just catching up and the first in the series is just available. Go read. Then be patient and wait for the rest of the series – anticipation will only sweeten the fun of each book as it appears.

Recommended by Leonie Flynn

  • In case you’ve missed them, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney.
  • Big Nate by Lincoln Pierce is a slightly easier read, but is just as American and just as funny.
  • The original and best diary? Sue Townsend’s genius, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 ¾.

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