Cheesie Mack is Not a Genius or Anything by Steve Cotler
Random House Books for Young Readers, 2011
3 out of 5
Ronald "Cheesie" Mack is not a genius or anything, but he remembers everything that happened before, during, and after fifth-grade graduation, and he's written it all down in his own unique and hilarious way--with lots of lists, drawings, and splenderful (that's splendid plus wonderful!) made-up words.
Cheesie--with a little help from Steve Cotlet--writes about family, friendship, and tough choices in an unforgettable voice that will have kids laughing out loud. Readers of Diary of a Wimpy Kid will love both the clever humor and the black-and-white-illustrations throughout. (Description from Amazon).
Overall this book is quite enjoyable with a nice, easily wrapped up story featuring the shenanigans of eleven-year-old boys.
Cheesie's voice is honest and does feel kid-like, but it also comes across as a little know-it-allish. Though this can be an accurate depiction of eleven-year-old boys, the inclusion of vocabulary words immediately followed by their definitions just felt condescending (perhaps this is just me knowing all the big words already), but it was not my favorite approach.
My major pet peeve was the constant mention of the website. It seemed that every few pages the words "visit my website" appeared together. I understand the importance (and need) to promote the book and the character (especially in the instance of a series), but I made audible annoyed sounds every time I read those words. My suggestion might be to include a symbol or some other easily-scanned-over-if-I'm-not-interested-in-sharing-something-related-to-this at the end of appropriate sentences and keep the "Visit cheesiemack.com" section at the end as a final reminder.
Even with my dislikes, I did enjoy the book and I'm happy to see that it's being ordered for my library. The next time someone asks for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and it is inevitably checked out, I have another back-up to suggest.
Disclosure: This review is from the ARC pilfered from the orphan ARC shelf at work. (As in a colleague received it and placed it there for others to enjoy.) Also the ARC edition does not include final illustrations, so I cannot make comments about them. If they are anything like the book, I'm sure they will be entertaining.
Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sarah at GreenBeanTeenQueen. The purpose is "to highlight great reads for tweens!"