Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dingus by Andrew Larsen - OPTIONAL

Larsen, Andrew Dingus, 206 pages. Kids can press, 2017. $15.95. Language:G (0 swears 0 “f”s) Mature Content:G Violence:G.

Fifth grade Henry is having friendship troubles with his best friend since first grade, Max, who has been acting rude to him ever since he joined the chess team earlier in the school year. After school ends, Max is off to summer camp and Henry is stuck at home with his father and his baby brother Sam while mis mother goes to Las Vegas on a business trip. With nothing else to do he spends time with his grandfather, Poppy, and his dog. Soon, his summer takes a turn for the worse when Poppy goes off camping and he leaves Henry with his best friend and pet, Rupert. Henry is faced with dealing with a lack of attention from his parents due to his younger sibling, but will he come to terms with having a younger brother before mother comes back home? 

Dingus is a quick read best suited for younger audiences. It’s a slice of life story featuring a common and slightly irritating cliche: the child not getting enough attention due to a sibling. However, this book has the redeeming quality of being about a believable friendship coming apart. Henry coming to terms with both losing his friend and getting over it, and also dealing with his baby brother, is very realistic; it’s something a child can relate to. In terms of quality, the setup is perfect, but it all quickly falls apart. A fast but dull read with no action, suspense, or good humor to keep you reading. This premise is realistic, but that’s the problem. It’s so true to life that it may as well be a diary of a younger sibling. 

EL - Optional 8th Grade Student Reviewer ZH

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