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Dear Dumb Diary, The Worst Things in Life are Also Free

Dear Dumb Diary, The Worst Things in Life are Also Free

The Worst Things in Life Are Also Free

Jamie Kelly’s got some big plans for her summer vacation including swimming with dolphins and watching every scary movie ever made. Her best friend Isabella has a list too. They combine the two lists for a shared “List of Summer Excellence.” The problem is that every single thing on their lists costs money, which they don’t have.

At dinner tonight, I talked a little about my summer plans. Mom and Dad made their “expensive” face at every one of my ideas. I don’t know how they do it, but they have a way of tilting their heads and twisting their eyebrows as if to say, “That Costs Too Much,” without ever actually opeing their mouths. It’s like living with a pair of disapproving mimes. (page 18)

Things start to look up for The Summer of Excellence when Jamie’s Uncle Dan and Aunt Carol come over and announce that they will take Jamie, Isabella, & their other (sort of) friend Angeline (who happens to be Uncle Dan’s niece) to Screamotopia, an amusement park at which they can accomplish one of their Summer of Excellence goals – ride a roller coaster.

Uncle Dan and Aunt Carol will pay for the car trip and the hotel – the three girls have to come up with the price of admission. No problem, they say. They can babysit, walk dogs, wash cars, sell lemonade – it will be noooo problem coming up with $100 a piece in 3 weeks. Exept we’re talking Jamie Kelly here. If there was ever a kid who could turn a group project into a disaster…it’s her! Laugh outloud funny diary entries from the one and only Jamie Kelly. If you like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, give these a try. Author: Jim Benton

Jim Benton – The Worst Things in Life Are Also Free (Dear Dumb Diary) from Expanded Books on Vimeo.

Dear Dumb Diary Series:

#1 Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
#2 My Pants are Haunted (When Bad Clothes Happen to Good People)
#3 Am I the Princess or the Frog
#4 Never Do Anything, Ever
#5 Can Adults Become Human?
#6 The Problem with Here is That it’s Where I’m From
#7 Never Underestimate Your Dumbness
#8 It’s Not My Fault I Know Everything
#9 That’s What Friends Aren’t For
#10 The Worst Things in Life are Also Free
#11: Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers
#12: Me! (Just Like You, Only Better)

Dear Dumb Diary Year Two Series:

#1 School Hasn’t This Gone on Long Enough?
#2 The Super Nice are Super Annoying
#3 Nobody’s Perfect I’m as Close as it Gets
#4 What I Don’t Know Might Hurt Me
#5 You Can Bet on That
#6 Live Each Day to the Dumbest

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Kid Review – Pee Wee’s Tale

Kid Review – Pee Wee’s Tale

Pee Wee's Tale

When his owner’s parents let him go in Central Park, a young guinea pig learns to survive in the natural world with the help of a “park-wise” squirrel while trying to find his way back home.

D.R. says:

Peewee’s Tale is a great book about a guinea pig named Peewee that gets given to a little boy for his birthday by his uncle, which his parents dislike greatly. When the boy goes on a sleepover at his friend’s house, his parents let the guinea pig run away. Read Peewee’s Tale to find out if Peewee finds his owner or if he’s on his own.

:If you like Pee-Wee’s adventures trying to survive in a human world, try these:
I Freddy Streg Nona: Her Story A Cricket in Time's Square Charlotte's Web
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Wish I Might

Wish I Might

Wish I Might

Willa still lives in Cape Cod with her Mom and Stepdad at the Bramblebriar Inn. She’s looking forward to a great summer with her best friend Tina and her boyfriend JFK. But before the summer really gets started Tina starts hanging out a lot with Ruby and JFK goes to baseball camp leaving Willa to wonder what happened to her fabulous summer.

And then there’s the new boy, Will. He seems pretty interested in Willa and he has a pretty big secret that involves Willa too. Should JFK be jealous?

Look Inside Wish I Might

Other Books from the Life of Willa Havisham:
#1 The Wedding Planner’s Daughter on CD
#2 The Cupid Chronicles on CD
#3 Willa By Heart
#4 Forget Me Not
#5 Wish I Might

If you like Willa you’ll like these girls too. They are also trying to figure out their family, their friends, their (maybe) boyfriends and all the other things that come with Middle School.
My Life in Pink and Green The Cupcake Queen Every Soul a Star Finally
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The Pickle King

The Pickle King

The Pickle King

Podunk, rain-soaked Elbow, home of Herman’s Devil Tongue Relish, is not the place to be stuck for a whole summer. The Devil Tongue Relish comes in three strengths: Easy Does It, Turning Up the Heat, and Burning Down the House. What goes on in Elbow comes in three strengths: boring, more boring & even more boring.

The kids stuck in Elbow for the summer call themselves the Raintown Convicts – they have no escape from the town, the boredom, or each other…until the morning Sam knocks on Bea’s door and insists on showing her something. It’s the morning that changes everything.

Bea & Sam round up all the Convicts: Madison, Butterfly & Eric and they begin a summer of sneaking, running, climbing, riding bikes & stealing a car to solve a mystery in their normally boring, but now very, very interesting town. What’s so interesting? How about–

  • a ghost
  • an asylum
  • a fortune teller
  • a ring
  • a loyal dog
  • a secret cave
  • a dump
  • a forgotten attic
  • a diner
  • a camera
  • a dead body…intestines…an eyeball…& pickles!

If you like the movie Goonies you’ll like this one. Five kids with nothing in common stuck together for a mystery/adventure they’ll never forget. Did you catch the part about intestines and an eyeball? They’re in there. Really. Gross in the funnest possible sense. Author: Rebecca Promitzer

More teams of kids solving over-the-top mysteries:
Goonies Canned The Mysterious Benedict Society The Secret of Zoom
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The Magic Thief: Found

The Magic Thief: Found


The sweet, streetwise gutterboy Conn and the crusty, lovable old wizard Nevery are back for a third magical adventure in the city of Welmet. Conn is in hiding after breaking out of the Dawn Palace prison. He’s holed up in secret within Welment, helping Nevery devise some kind of plan to keep an evil magic from taking over the city.

What Conn needs is a new locus magicalicus, the stone that focuses a wizard’s magic – kind of like a wand. Conn sacrificed his locus stone to save Welmet in The Magic Thief: Lost. Nevery and Conn discover a finding spell that will lead Conn to a new locus stone. The spell scorches a fiery line right through Welmet and out of sight. At the end of the spell-line, somewhere, lies Conn’s locus stone. Conn sets out on a long, hard and dangerous journey, lucky for him he’s still got Rowan on his side. But even Rowan, who can handle a sword like nobody else, can keep Conn safe when a dragon snatches him up right before her eyes. Author: Sarah Prineas


Don’t miss #1 The Magic Thief and #2 The Magic Thief: Lost. If you like Nevery and Conn and the whole mentor/apprentice part of the story, try Magyk, Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone or The Books of Umber: Dragon Games. If what you like is dragons, try Fablehave: Secret of the Dragon Sanctuary, The Dragon of Trelian or Where teh Mountain Meets the Moon. All very, very good!
The Magic Thief The Magic Thief: Lost Magyk Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
The Books of Umber: Dragon Games Secret of the Dragon Sanctuary The Dragon of Trelian Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
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