Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School

Juvenile Fiction
I do admit that I enjoy every book in Jeff Kinney's Diary of a
Wimpy Kid series the minute the Orono Public Library has it ready for
circulation. I found volume number 10: Dairy of a Wimpy Kid: Old
School to be especially amusing.
Middle son narrator Greg thinks that the nostalgia many adults
exhibit for the old days is a cover up for their envy of the
electronic devices that weren't available in their childhoods. (No
way is he going to be like that when he grows up!) His mother is one
of the purveyors of nostalgia. She's trying to get people to sign a
petition calling for a 48 hour moratorium on electronic devices in
their town. Greg and his brothers want her to give up. It's getting
hard for them to pretend not to know her.
Of course you know mom will win. If she'd called it quits the
premise of the story would be shot to heck. However the moratorium
and park clean up are only some of the problems that are being slung
Greg's way. The house is being taken over by his mother's pet pig who
even has its own bedroom. A younger child who starts doing his
homework gets him placed in harder classes. His grandfather moves on,
taking over his bedroom. He has to move in with little brother,
Manny. Older brother Rodrick has a new job at a very strange ice
cream parlor.
Then there's the impending class field trip to Hardscrabble
farms where Greg and his classmates will get to "sleep in log cabins
and learn about nature and hard work" for a week. I think we've
established that that's not his can of Monster.
I would highly recommend this book as a Christmas gift for a
youngster who might otherwise go through the vaca without reading a
On a personal note, Robert Q. Dana, UMaine Dean of Students, threw his
fabulous Christmas party. The food was divine. The conversations
were lively. Good cheer was abundant. Dean Dana mingled with
everyone, greeting people personally. He was visibly delighted to see
people enjoying his hospitality so much.
Robert Q. Dana is one of the people I most admire. Although he's been
in admin for decades, he goes about his work with the same optimism
and enthusiasm he showed when I met when I was pregnant with Amber.
Unlike many of his peers, he isn't all about the athletic stars and
academic high achievers. There is no disguising his admiration for
the student who overcomes daunting obstacles or comes back from bad
decisions to succeed.
A great big shout out goes out to Robert Q. Dana and his office crew
who carry out his mission admirably.
Julia Emily Hathaway

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