By: Kim Williams-Justesen
Publication Date: October 2012
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: October 2012
The beauty of having a little brother is… Oh, wait, there really is no beauty when it comes to that; at least, not for Mattie.
Right off the bat readers are given an in-depth look at how Donny the Disaster (Mattie’s four-year-old brother) seems to get away with basically everything. Such as, if Mattie had painted the counters with, say, permanent markers when she was four, she would have been in big trouble. If Donny did stuff like that? He would simply be artistic.
Poor Mattie has been watching her annoying brother all summer long while she looks forward to her first year at high school and, frankly, she’s just about sick of it. Donny is in his phase of ‘being a dog,’ where he wears a collar, barks, eats his food from a dish on the floor, and basically drives her nuts. Now, Mom wants to encourage her son to be creative, and Dad wants Donny to keep going so he can film him and the family can perhaps win the top prize on “America’s Funniest Home Videos” but Mattie? She just wants to be able to go to her bff's house, be free, and stare at Livvy’s (her bff) brother Nate, with fantasies rolling around in her head.
Mattie has longed to be Nate’s girlfriend, but she figures he just looks at her like ‘his little sister's annoying friend.’ But when it turns out that’s not the case, and Nate very much wants to date Mattie, things really fall apart. After all, Livvy is where Mattie’s loyalty lies - they’ve been friends forever. But having to choose between a best friend who’s angry over Mattie dating her stupid brother; and Nate, who Mattie is dying to date, makes the end of the summer truly hard. Add in the fact that Donny the Disaster is getting even MORE annoying, and Mattie has a big mess on her hands.
This is one of those sweet, extremely funny stories with characters that bring you back to a time when it was a nicer world. No, that’s not a Little House on the Prairie statement - these chicks rock! BUT it’s really nice to read a book without Facebook, cell phones, text messaging, etc. This author delivers simplicity and a whole lot of fun!
Quill Says: A VERY nice and much-needed break from the constant supernatural and supercomputer books for young readers.