Writer’s (W)rants

Diary Of A Private School Kid by Penn Brooks is a burst of humor for the weekend. There is a lot of humor that leaves me with only one question. Was this written by a really cool kid developing writing skills or was this written by an adult (whatever that means)? The Amazon Author page reveals that Penn Brooks lives with his wife and four children, so another possibility is that he is channeling one or more of his children. Brooks reveals that he likes writing for children and adults who never grew up.

Be sure to look at the line drawings that Brooks includes in somewhat unexpected places during the story. I think they might be more unexpected in the Kindle edition due to formatting. If you are a reader who tends to skip material you consider unimportant, you might overlook these drawings but you should not. Thought went into the drawings and they contribute (add more information) to the story.

The best example of how Brooks gets the different perspectives of children and parents came in a section when Ben got in trouble with the school and the parents asked him an all-important (to them) question. “Do you know how much that school costs?” In Ben’s mind at least was the rejoinder of “No, and what does that have to do with the incident in which I was involved.” Although I have written quotes, it is paraphrasing. And I don’t want to mention where in the story this exchange takes place. Diary is short and worth reading as it is presented. Brooks is skillful in building up a scene to its conclusion. In this case, revealing where in the story I read the above would be a spoiler.

There is something appealing about a writer writing about a child who is doing a writing assignment (which went wrong) which eventually morphed into the child’s hatred of writing. But Ben is only in the fifth grade. Surely he will grow out of his aversion to writing. Everyone has a secret desire to be a writer, eh? (Comment only applicable in Canada).

I found this story available for free (my absolute favorite price) on Amazon. Not through a subscription plan, just a free purchase.

3 comments

    1. I found this while looking for kid-friendly stuff. I agree with the similarity of titles. I am still trying to figure the author out. Is he exercising creativity or trying to ride a trend while getting paid for it? I haven’t read enough of the author’s work to decide.

      1. I think he is doing both. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is extremely popular and it seems both have the same target audience. He’s banking on its popularity, it’s a shame because that in itself is not exercising creativity.

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