Book reviews are always fun to write- mostly because they are easy for me! Bug loves to read, and typically will sit down and read with no fuss. When we received Diary of a Real Payne in the mail from Barbour Publishing for a Schoolhouse Crew Review, Bug couldn’t wait to dig in.
The cover of this book is super cute, and immediately drew his attention. He thought it was awesome that the kid’s one leg was on earth, and the rest of them was in space! It’s simple things like that which catch his attention and make him want to read.
The main character, Emma Jean Payne is where I lost Bug. Within the first couple chapters, he decided he didn’t want to read a book all about a girl. He told me he thought it was “funny and kind of interesting, but girls aren’t too interesting” so instead of egging him on to read it, I decided to use it as a read aloud which went over much better.
All my kiddos didn’t mind listening to the stories over breakfast. Each chapter takes you on a different adventure- E.J. has a very active imagination, and it often gets her into a little bit of trouble. The kids thought it was hilarious when she accidentally cut her brothers hair and when she pretended to be a private investigator. She is always imagining something, and trying to get out of the small town she lives in.
My favorite part is when E.J. realizes “My whole life I’ve known that I am destined for big things, so I’ve been preparing for that “someday.” But the truth is that that there are big things for me to do now as a kid, here in the boringest place on the planet. And tonight, I know for sure what I’m supposed to do.”
I won’t ruin the surprise for you and let know what what it is that E.J. needs to do, but I will tell you that this whole book is full of fantastic life lessons, as realized through the eyes of a 4th grader. This book does have a Christian point of view, and themes, like God’s plan for E.J. are found through the book.
It was a fun read, and were Bug a female in the recommended 8-12 age range, I think he would have gladly read it on his own. We did enjoy it as a family regardless of his “ewww girls!” knee-jerk reflex.
I would recommend adding Diary of a Real Payne ($5.99 – Sale price $4.49!) to your daughter’s stocking this Christmas! To make it even better, the second book in the series, Diary of a Real Payne- Church Camp Chaos is coming in March!