Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fiction Wednesday - A review of Daphne's Diary of Daily Disasters: The name game!

For years I have enjoyed the stories about Amelia. Written and illustrated by Marissa Moss, these stories are presented to readers in a journal format, and they wonderfully chronicle the highs and lows in the life of a young girl. Not long ago Marissa started a new series featuring a girl called Daphne. Once again, the stories are in journal format, and once again the author uses humor and sensitivity to explore the life of a young person.

For today's fiction title I have reviewed the first title in the Daphne series.

Daphne's Diary of Daily Disasters: The Name Game!Daphne’s Diary of Daily Disasters: The Name Game!
Marissa Moss
For ages 8 to 10
Simon and Schuster, 2011, 978-1-4424-1738-0
Daphne is in the 4th grade, and it is a her first day of school. She had a new backpack, a new diary to write in, and her best friend Kaylee is in the same class, so things should be all right. But there are not. The teacher calls roll call and says “Daffy” instead of Daphne. Daphne knows full well that her classmates are going to call her Daffy for the rest of the school year, and perhaps for the rest of her life. Sure enough, she gets called names all day long.
   After school, Daphne has to go to the orthodontist, then she has to sit through her little brothers’ soccer practice, which is incredibly boring. It doesn’t help that her parents ask how her first day of school went. Daphne does not want to talk about her dreadful day, she wants to “forget” what happened as soon as possible. She would even prefer to listen to her father’s boring account of his day rather than have to talk about hers.
   Then Daphne’s father mentions how someone mispronounced his name at work that day, and he tells his family about how he was called all kinds of names when he was a kid in school. All of a sudden Daphne feels less alone. Her father went through the same experience that she is going through now. Who knew? Not only that, but Daphne’s father comes up with a solution to her problem. Could it be that she can salvage her reputation after all?
   Dealing with being called names, and having people make fun of you is an unfortunate part of school life. The problem is that it can cause a lot of pain, sometimes unintentionally. Thankfully, Marissa Moss has found an effective and sympathetic way to address this issue. Through Daphne, she shows young readers that they are not alone, and that many of the adults in their lives were teased when they were kids. She helps readers to see how important it is to be sensitive to others, and to have a sense of humor.
   This is the first book in a new series.

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