I wish someone would tell me exactly what a journal is. When I asked my mother, she said, "Well, it's like a diary only different." That helps. She was going to explain more, but. Mrs. Furtz (the lady who just moved in across the street) called to say, that my brother Dennis was throwing eggs at her house, and my mother went berserk so she didn't finish telling me. How am I supposed to write a journal if I don't even know what one is?
I picked up Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech at the library in the Italian translation by Antonella Borghi. It's a book suitable for pre-teens and younger teens, highly readable and full of humour.
When asked by her English teacher to write a journal of her summer to turn in at the beginning of the next school year, thirteen-year-old Mary Lou Finney is a bit perplexed. She doesn't even know what exactly a journal is. Anyway, she starts chronicling her life: three brothers, one sister, two parents who add in to the family chaos, and Alex, her crush. With the new addition of Carl Ray, a quiet cousin coming from the countryside to stay with the Finneys for the summer, the confusion not only reaches exhilarating levels, but also includes a mistery. To make things short, Mary Lou gets a bit carried away with her assignment. That's why she turns it in, but asks her teacher: Please don't read it!
I liked this book: it was amusing and warm and full of the normal everyday life of a large family. I guess it only was a bit predictable - I was able to guess Carl Ray's secret almost immediately - but that's probably because I'm starting to be a bit too old for this kind of books. (I guess my librarian is wondering why, all of a sudden, I've started reading books from the same series I used to read at 12, but she has the good sense of not making comments).