Diary of a Real Payne Book 1: True Story is a novel (Barbour Publishing) that is sure to delight an elementary-aged child. E.J. (Emma Jean) Payne, the spunky, imaginative heroine finds herself in all sorts of adventures as she attends school, church, and camp and daily life with her 5 year old brother, Isaac. Each chapter opens with a diary entry that expresses E.J’s blunt 10-year-old opinion, complete with pictures.
E.J. has a tendency to get herself into trouble when she gets lost in her imagination, such as when she pretends to be a race car driver, roaring down the aisles of a store or pretending to be an astronaut while dangerously perched at the top of monkey bars. Meanwhile, her adversary, the “perfect” CoraLee, always seems to do just the right thing.
Funny books like Diary of a Real Payne: True Story are a popular genre with children. What makes this one stand out is its Christian worldview. While not being preachy or moralistic in any way, Christianity and faith are incorporated into the story in a natural way—E.J.’s father is a preacher; the family attends a church camp together; and the children participate in their church’s nativity play. There were also no bad attitudes modeled. While E.J. is sometimes irritated by her younger brother, she still obviously loves him, and while she misbehaves, she is still respectful to her parents.
I like this book a lot. It was very silly, fun, and adventurous. I’m just like the girl in the story, which made it way more fun to read. I love adventures and envision my future, so that sometimes I have to be brought out of it! The girl in this book was very confident and loved to imagine she was a race care driver and I jumped right in to the book! I really enjoyed this book!
This is the first of a great new series for children and I highly recommend it! It is written for ages 8 to 12, but, as you can read above, my 13 year old enjoyed it, too! I’m sure that children as young as 5 would enjoy this book as a read-aloud.
Diary of a Real Payne: True Story is currently on sale for $4.49 (reg. $5.99).