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Summary: This diary of a ten-year-old boy describes the events in his life as he grows ups in Stoneham, Massachusetts. The book is set in the 1950s. The stories confirm the adage that the more things change the more they stay the same. This collection of poetry tells the story of a boy as he grows up.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 10 to 13
Interest Level: 10 and up
Age of Child: Read by students at Northumberland Elementary School, Newport News, VA for the Reading Tub's Use Your ABCs program. Read with children ages 9 and 10. Read with kids ages 7, 9, and 10.
Young Reader Reaction: This book helps you improve your writing and reading skills. It helps you learn more about writing a poem. This book helps you understand about reading poems. This is a funny and interesting book to read. I would buy this book for a family member because they would like it.
Adult Reader Reaction: It is filled with humorous stories, incidents, and characters make it an enjoyable read for pre-teens, as well as Baby Boomers.
Pros: Every reader, 8 or 80, will relate to the angst of being ten years old. The author relates his experiences using poetry, rather than prose, to share his thoughts and observations. That device, along with outstanding design and graphics authenticate the diary and broaden the book’s appeal to a much wider audience.
Cons: The book’s primary audience is the adolescent/pre-teen audience. It is, however, the “boomers” who will relate to it more, since it focuses on the fifties.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This book is enjoyable for 10-year-olds and anyone who was ever ten years old. There are similarities in the process of maturing, and unique experiences that influence one’s personality and outlook on the world. This book and chicken soup will reduce the angst of being 10 and the need for therapy.
Educational Themes: If shared between parent/grandparent and child, it can serve as a way to talk about the elder's life growing up. It also offers an introduction into different ways of writing (i.e., not everything has to be a narrative story).
Literary Categories: fiction - poetry, 1950s
Date(s) Reviewed: July 2007, November 2008
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