Click here to buy Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer (Max and Maggie Journal)
Ten-year-old twins, Maggie and Max, are enjoying their summer holidays until they get into one too many noisy arguments. Mom, who works at home, has had enough. In order to encourage understanding and respect towards each other, she tells them they must keep a joint journal of twelve entries. Each child must initiate six topics and the other must respond in the journal. Pictures are allowed (and are hilarious).
Maier has tremendous insight into the 10-year-old mind, both male and female. Each child has fears and strengths. Both experienced frustration understanding the point of view of their sibling, but by the end of the summer have gained insights and, hopefully, empathy toward their twin.
The book is not preachy and there is no great, dramatic incident, but it is an enjoyable read. The children are forthright and funny. Several incidents and illustrations are sure to make the reader laugh out loud. It is realistic, believable, and highly relatable. Even adults will find themselves nodding at similar experiences.
Because the book is peppered with charming doodles, done by the children, it may be difficult to share with a large group. However, I think it would make a wonderful book for a parent to read to their children, especially those that conflict over the summer. They may even choose to have their children emulate Maggie and Max and write their own journal. The author has cleverly provided a journal for purchase that would suit this activity.
I wonder if the idea might be adopted in a different way, a journal between a parent and child, especially a child of divorced parents one of who lives a distance away. It could also be used by a parent who is working or serving in the military far away. An online journal, with a limited number of entries, might provide an experience for connection.
This amusing book subtly increases the reader’s perception of others while providing a highly entertaining read. Highly recommended.
Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages