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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Jamie Kelly is back and dumber than ever in this super-deluxe four-color Dear Dumb Diary special edition! Life at Mackerel Middle School is as dumb as ever -- but Jamie Kelly may have finally found the key to fame, fortune, and fabulousness. Together with Isabella and Angeline, she's come up with a moneymaking idea, and it has to do with food. Everyone likes food! They're going to be rich! The only problem? They have to come up with something that people actually want to eat. Jamie has some sophisticated thoughts on food, like, "She was manipulating us like dough. Like the sweet, delicious dough that we are. And she was baking us into the type of delicious cookies you can only get from dough like us. And she was putting sprinkles of us on top of us, and -- forget it. I'm hungry. I want some cookies." This is sure to go well.…

Overall Book Review:

Dear Dumb Diary Deluxe: Dumbness is a Dish Best Served Cold is the latest book in the Dear Dumb Diary series by bestselling author Jim Benton.  In it we follow our main character and narrator Jamie along with her friends Angeline and Isabella as they set out to become inventors.  

Dumbness is a Dish Best Served Cold is written in a fun, colloquial style similar to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series that lends the book a good pace and flow.  Complete with full color comics on nearly every page it provides a visual feast for the reader. However, our main character comes across as extremely whiney, selfish and melodramatic, making in difficult to connect with story and leaves the whole book coming off as inane, mindless chatter you just want to tune out.  There are wonderful messages about honesty and ingenuity within they book but they are, unfortunately, lost in the silliness; the attempts at humor come off either as too absurd to be funny or just plain gross.

Dumbness is a Dish Best Served Cold is a book that may appeal to very young readers or fans of the series but may put off older ones.

Review of an Advance Reader’s Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic Press (A Scholastic Imprint)

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore: (All meant to be exaggerated and humorous) Reference to girl inadvertently killing several goldfish; dogs bite each other; girl stomps on adult’s foot; girl jokes about throwing parents out window; man chokes on food; girl shoves boy; woman kicks another woman; a few instances of girl hitting herself in the nose; reference to boy getting nose bleeds; girl references ninjas getting hit in the face; girl worries about chemicals on hangers; girl references punching people in the throat; girl references biting and choking; girl threatens to drown other girls; girl kicks woman; girl gets a nose bleed; girl finds dog dead; dog dropped and kicked several times; dog bites man; girl hits boy.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:

Finances, invention, job loss, honesty, friendship.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I always say that I love to read and that books are my passion, but as I have grown a little older, I have come to realize that isn’t entirely true. I do love reading, but my true passion is stories. For as long as I can remember I have been completely enthralled with a good story, no matter the medium: books, theater, movies/TV shows–even a few video games (yes, I am a nerd).