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A very weak option, given all of the other books out there
on September 8, 2012
I can understand why people who don't read much early and middle grade fiction might think that this is a good choice for their reader. The confessional narration, the reference to current issues, the type of humor, all suggest that this would be a good choice for a middle grader. And it's not a bad choice, in the sense that it is not in any way affirmatively harmful. And Patterson is a recognized brand name. It's just that this book is among the weakest choices compared to the literally dozens of works out there that are more authentic, better written, more genuine and more honest, and more appealing than this book.
These other choices have been written by authors who seem to actually value what they're doing, and try to do something beyond just paint-by-the-numbers books. I'd suggest trying some Tom Angleberger, Michael Buckley, Andrew Clements, Eoin Colfer, Bruce Coville, Ron Koertge, Gary Paulsen or Richard Peck. Each of these established authors has written very satisfying, and funny and thoughtful, middle grade fiction.
And if you want a book exactly like this one, but funnier , more engaging, and more authentic and better written, try any of Greg Heffley's volumes in the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series from Jeff Kinney.