This is going to be a great go-to for those middle grade boys who think they like nothing but Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The MAD Magazine logo on the cover is going to help. It's formatted like a blog, including those little mood icons from - what was that? LiveJournal? I'm forgetting already. Even the word "blog" sounds dated. Even to me, who writes two.
Diary-like entries detailing Tad's aspirations and humiliations are interspersed with flat-out observational comedy: Do you think flightless birds think they're going to fly one day, and then realize that's never going to happen (paraphrase)? The comedy made me laugh out loud, and then share with the class.
But - I have buts about this book. First of all, the Tad that is self-described in the diary entries does not seem like the same guy who is producing this level of humor. And the humiliations that Tad endures are pretty extreme. A bad haircut before picture day makes his unibrow appear more prominent, so he tries to correct it with an electric razor, and ends up shaving his eyebrows off. And then he tries to draw them back in with Sharpie. That... I mean, it's KIND of funny, and of course it's exaggerated, but if you asked any of the tween boys currently drawing up their D&D characters in my living room, they would describe that behavior using a word that we don't actually allow them to use. It starts with R.
What I'm saying is, it edges a bit over the top. But - again but - this is not literature for the ages. It is a funny book for kids who like funny books.
PS: If you do not subscribe to MAD Magazine, I think you should. The parodies help develop parallel thinking, and cartoon caricature stimulates the portion of the brain that interprets emotional expression.
PPS: That there was BS. You should subscribe to MAD because it will make your kids funnier. Maybe more aggravating, but generally funnier.