This guest review was written by Nathan Smith, age 11.
This book is about an 11-year-old kid who wants to be a video game designer but his evil siblings keep distracting him from doing it, which I can relate to. It is similar to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. It goes along with the whole idea of a person who thinks he is going to be rich. The art in this book is more three-dimensional than the art in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, however. The stories themselves did not compare very much; I thought this book was too innocent. I’m thinking he should have tried to be more mischievous because I think it would be better if he did stuff that was kind of breaking the rules because it would be funnier that way. Jacob is obviously a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Although the book acted like we would know when the Second Coming is, and we don’t.) I think they probably shouldn’t have taken a series and made it churchy because one series is good enough. I didn’t like it or dislike it; I was kind of iffy.
And now, the Mom’s review: I am somewhat suspect of the idea of taking popular secular books and Mormon-ifying them. I’m afraid it will send the message that the secular version is somehow wrong and it also can skate the line of plagiarism. (Malcolm Gladwell wrote a really interesting article exploring the paradox that our culture tolerates–even expects–people to plagiarize entire ideas, but goes nuts if someone plagiarizes four words in order.) And what’s the point of a “Mormon version” if it has scatalogical humor and booger humor in it anyway? But, flipping through this book, I was surprised at how funny it was and how much it was willing to poke at Mormon culture (“[Mom] says we’re supposed to have a ‘house of order,’ but I think she just likes making weird crafts. I think we have two family home evening charts, and there are like six different chore charts on the refrigerator.”) It was also surprisingly edgy in places (“In church today, we had a lesson about missionary work. Brother Juke said us boys should prepare to serve a mission when we turn 19. He told Amity she could be a missionary if she turned 21 before she got married. She said that was sexist.”) So I guess, in the final analysis, I’m kind of iffy on it, too.