Monday, September 19, 2011

Summer Book Club wk 2 - Journals of the Big Mouth Bass

Journals of the Big Mouth Bass: Keeping Secrets
by author Debbie Sue Williamson
Published by Souper Publishing
ISBN-10 0980123410
ISBN-13 978-0980123418
156 pages, $6.95 Amazon

About the book: 
Debbie Bass just celebrated her ninth birthday. While she thought most of the presents were kind of lame, she loves the journal that her mother gave her.

Debbie has always had trouble keeping secrets so she has decided to address every entry in her journal to God. She figures that there is a good chance that God won’t tell anyone what she is writing!

You’re invited to a front-row seat to the 1960s and sunny southern California where winters are mild, summers are hot, and kids find their way into all sorts of trouble. Join the fun as Debbie lives up to her unfortunate nickname and shares the trials and tribulations of growing up. From trying to be more girly (and failing miserably) to exciting adventures with her brother and the neighborhood kids, to facing humiliation at school, Keeping Secrets is a heartwarming, funny, and very real book about growing up female.

My Thoughts:
In this endearing middle grade book kids follow 9 year old Debbie on her adventures with The Sunny Side Gang which is made up of ALL BOYS and her dog "Chopper". There are numerous groundings for Debbie and her brother, Dell in store and that should give you an idea of how adventurous this group of kids are! Some of the adventures are dangerous and include an education on the danger of fires and when you "SHOULD" tell secrets.

The book takes place in the 1960's and it's FUN to see kids being kids. Not sitting in front of the TV all day playing games or watching shows they shouldn't be watching. Parents are parents and kids are kids. These kids take pride in winning the right to get the baseball field in the morning before the day gets hot, digging a fort big enough for all 5 kids and their dog and reading a book for the afternoon.

The book does have a few "swear" words but it's not "in your face" like it would be in a book set nowadays. Debbie is careful to tell us she can use "jack----" because it's an real animal not just a bad word. The children in the book are very "innocent" and childlike which was wonderful to see. As a caution for parents - there is a death of a child in the book due to drowning - so you may have questions to answer.

Debbie (the author) hopefully will add another book to this one making it a series. I think it would be a great series for kids in 3rd/4th grades (or ages 9-12). The author was born in SLC and grew up in California where she spent time surfing and swimming. She has 4 children, 11 grand children, 4 Schnauzers (WOW!) and loves to garden, said, golf, travel and read. She has written 1 other book "Stand" which is the story of generations of abuse (for kids/adults over 15). Read more about Stand here.

You can follow the author and learn more about her books:  Twitter    Amazon    JacketFlap

Summer Brain Drain - Suggestion:
Why not provide your daughter with this book along with a diary or journal. Encourage your daughter to journal each day - even for just 15 minutes. She can share her thoughts, her joys or upsets, the lyrics to her favorite song. Remember it's not the number of books - but the time spent reading & writing that helps prevent Summer Brain Drain!

Check out this cute little guy for a suggested book YOU can use for ideas on journaling w/ kids! 

Tobey is reading Journal Buddies: A Boy's Journal for Discovering and Sharing Excellence - I can't see any reason teachers, parents, librarians can't use it to encourage journaling for boys or girls!

I wish to thank Cadence Marketing Group for supplying me with a copy of the book to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any way except for receiving the book. 

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