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Diary of a Parent Trainer by Jennifer Smith

Diary of a Parent Trainer

by Jennifer Smith

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middle school & up

Katie is recording her efforts at correctly "operating" her grown-up, a.k.a. Mum. She believes she is an expert and efficiently operating her Mum to Katie's own advantage. Katie is writing her parent manual so that other kids will also be able to control their own model of grown-up.

From the description I read I thought this would be more "user's manual" than diary. I was incorrect. There is some user's manual type stuff but mostly it is more of a diary. Basically, the manual stuff serves as an intro to each diary entry.
I think this book is either going to be completely fascinating or it will confuse the heck of the kid reading. It is set in a small village in England which, let's face it, is not at all usual. Some kids will love it and go crazy for the British slang. Some kids will stop at the first British-ism because they won't know what it means. I'd suggest using this as part of a book club scenario or introducing British slang before hand. That could actually make an interesting lesson on the development of language, especially considering the differences of British English and American English.
Katie is pretty funny and her entries about her mom having a new boyfriend sound very realistic to me. I'm sure lots of kids have been in similar situations. Death of a parent (dad) like Katie or a divorce and then one parent starts dating and gets serious with someone new. That can really be hard to deal with.

Verdict: recommended. It gets bonus points with me for having Dr. Who references.

http://www.lifeisbetterwithbooks.com/2012/06/diary-of-parent-trainer.html ( )
  kutia | Jun 13, 2012 |
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Thirteen-year-old Katie Sutton, a self-proclaimed expert on grown-up behavior, begins writing a user's manual to help other teens train and operate their parents, but when her own mother starts dating Yellow Tie Man, Katie needs all of her expertise to get rid of him.… (more)

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