Friday, 5 August 2011

The Donut Diaries of Dermot Mulligan by Anthony McGowan (9 years +)

4th August 2011, Corgi Children's
304 pages, Paperback
Review copy 

Children's, 9 years +

School life for boys, bullying, food obsession, family life, friendship, lots of donuts, fear, courage, ingenuity, oodles of humour

Summary from R books
Dermot Milligan’s got problems. He’s overweight and hooked on donuts. He has a pushy, over-achieving mother, and a father who spends all his time hiding in the loo. His sisters, Ruby and Ella (known as Rubella) attack him relentlessly from the opposite directions of Chav and Goth. And now, he's being sent to a nutritionist, Doctor Morlock, who looks like a Dementor from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

This diary is Doc Morlock's idea. Not only does Dermot have to write down how many donuts he eats, but also - and this is the really rubbish part - he has to talk about HIS FEELINGS! But things are about to get even worse - he's being separated from his friends and sent to St Michael’s, a posh school where he just knows he's going to stick out like a sore thumb. A sore thumb with a weight problem . . .

Nayuleska's reasons for loving Dermot - he doesn't give in to the bullies. He finds a way to hold his head high once and for all. 

How evil/nasty is the enemy? 12 year old boys who think the rule the school are nasty pieces of work. Publicly humiliating Dermot was horrid to read. The revenge was as sweet as donuts (the iced kind). 

Are there lots of plot twists and surprises? I guessed the general direction of the story, but I really don't have much of a clue about boys growing up so there were lots of unexpected emotions and fun events. I try not to say certain books are for boys, but there were a few pages that was definitely boy humour. 

My favourite part was...when Durmot learnt a surprising truth about his family, which gave everything a different light. 

I give this 10/10 (I might not have entirely enjoyed the boy humour but it was well written, suited the style of the book which addresses serious issues with a smile)

You can find out more about Anthony on his website.

Suggested read 
For a view on life of a girl with OCD, check out Zelah Green: Who Says I'm a Freak? by Vanessa Curtis, strong humour among the life issues examined. 

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