Title: The Misadventures of PIP
Author: Donna Peterson
Pages: Paperback; 96
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Intended Reading Group:
Middle Grade/Young Adult
4 Keys to My Heart
Pip, whose real name is Phillip Isaac Penn, feels that the world is against him as he struggles to deal with angry parents, a bossy older sister, a frazzled teacher, and memorable characters such as Bully Bart, Cheater Chaz, Know-It-All Nell, Liar Lizzy, Stealer Steffan, Conman Cody, and Tattle-Tale Tess. Every day of the week brings another challenge that Pip handles in his own endearing way. Yet, no matter how hard he tries, he realizes that it’s just not easy being a kid.
This book was super cute, although I'd probably aim it at middle grade readers or much lower YA. Pip is a character that will speak to a lot of kids out there, since he's always being blamed for everything. Isn't that how all kids feel? See, Pip isn't a bad kid, he's honestly just curious. It's the adults and his bossy older sister that don't understand him. Sometimes it's just tough being a kid.
That's Pip's mantra as you navigate the book with him. I loved seeing things from his point of view, and I giggled a lot at the things he got in trouble for. Not once was he actually attempting to make people mad. Pip has the childhood problem of "saying what you mean" and "telling the truth", and that tends to get him in trouble with adults. They keep thinking he is talking back or lying. I think what made me laugh most is how he recaps what he learned at the end of each chapter. I see the first graders I work with doing that every day. In fact we ask them, what can you do better next time?
Stylistically I think The Misadventures of PIP is rather interesting! Younger readers will enjoy how each chapter is dedicated to a day, and also follows a very set format. Pip starts out by sharing his morning, then his school day, and finally by recapping what he's going to try to do the next day to be a better behaved kid. Too cute! His voice is simplistic in the best way possible, and it's very easy to believe that you're being told a story by a younger kid.
Overall I really enjoyed Pip's misadventures! I see this as the perfect book to read out loud to a class, taken a day at a time. I also think this would be a fabulous book to start reluctant readers out on. They are guaranteed to see a lot of themselves in Pip, and feeling connected to him definitely makes the book that much more fun to read. If you have younger readers, or appreciate a simple and cute story once in a while, give The Misadventures of PIP a try! I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.