TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:
Erik Kraft's "Miracle Wimp" is composed of a series of short journal entries accompanied by hand drawn, goofy illustrations. In this sense, it reminded me of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books, Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," and Gary Paulsen's "The Amazing Life of Birds." I must say that I love this merging of a traditional text-based novel with comic elements, and I hope it continues. I think it's a great way to get reluctant readers interested in reading … and it makes the book absolutely fly by!
"Miracle Wimp" is Tom Mayo's personal, often hilarious journal of his sophomore year in high school. Tom, whose last name and geeky nature have earned him the title nickname, seems like a smart, funny, fairly normal kid. He's just not as tough or popular as the group of powerful jocks he labels the "Donkeys." It's these boys who are prone to doling out insults, pranks, gym class beatings, and atomic wedgies on any unsuspecting nerds. Tom mostly steers clear of them, although he has no choice but to mingle with the Donkeys in Mr. Boort's somewhat bizarre Wood Shop class.
This is a very slim novel that most middle and high school boys should enjoy. As I mentioned, it has a fair share of biting humor, and the journal entries themselves are often only a few pages in length. Plus, drawings! As a bonus, Tom has some nice insights into the complexity of high school life, covering everything from an unexpectedly caring teacher; the bullying of a special ed student by other outcasts; the simple joys of driving around town with a friend; the absurdity of flag football; the sheer terror of calling a girl; and the ups and downs of having a first girlfriend. I was a bit jarred by how abruptly the journal ended, although I guess in retrospect Tom's journey is mostly complete by the time he attends the junior prom. Unless there's a sequel in store? I guess we'll all have to wait and see. In the meantime, although I should warn potential readers that there is a small amount of rough language, I can happily recommend this book. Please let us know if you like it!