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Thursday, January 24

Winter Reads: Dog Diaires: A Middle School Story


AMAZON; Barnes & Noble
One of the most popular book series for middle graders in recent years is the Middle School series by James Patterson, which centers around a character named Rafe Khatchadorian. Of course when a series becomes extremely popular spinoffs are eventually released, such as the I Funny series. Now there is a new spinoff called Dog Diaries: A Middle School Story (Jimmy Patterson; $9.99; 208 pages) that focuses on Rafe's dog, Junior!

Co-written with Steven Butler and featuring illustrations by Richard Watson, Dog Diaries chronicles the early life of Junior; starting from his days at the Hills Village dog shelter to winning a big "prize" for losing a "Best in Show" dog competition.

Life of a dog can be great when your best friend "Ruff" (a.k.a. - Rafe) always has your back. However, being a dog does has its obstacles, such as running away from the vacuum cleaner, staying on the good side of Mom-Lady (Rafe's mother), protecting the yard from monsters (birds, raccoons, and squirrels), and staying clear of the evil Jawjaw (Rafe's little sister).

Final Thoughts

I'm a big James Patterson fan. I even like reading his not-so-great books, which there have many of them lately. His co-written children books are written better than most of his adult crime thrillers! Dog Diaries was one of the books that went under my radar when it was released last year, but the good news for me is that I received it as a Christmas present. Actually, it was the only book I'd received for the holidays.

With some extra time to kill last Saturday afternoon, I read Dog Diaries: A Middle School Story, which is probably the worst entry in the Middle School franchise! There's absolutely no plot! Yes, I know the story is told from a dog's point-of-view and the book is aimed for children, but, "Come on!" At least include a small plot in the story!!! The book is mostly a bunch of unfunny jokes and gags that makes the dog Junior look very unintelligent. The only saving grace is the fun illustrations!

Overall, Dog Diaries: A Middle School Story is horribly-written children's book. Sure, the idea of having a spinoff about Rafe's dog sounds like a great idea, but it's poorly executed. If you're a dog lover, then maybe you'll get a kick out of reading about Junior. However, everyone else should stay clear of this mess!




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