The Mealworm Diaries (2009), by Anna Kerz

This review was first published in Resource Links Magazine, “Canada’s national journal devoted to the review and evaluation of Canadian English and French resources for children and young adults.” It appears in volume 14.4.

The Mealworm Diaries

Successfully following the profound footsteps of Jean Little, Anna Kerz has produced a sympathetic character in Jeremy, troubled by his self-imposed guilt over the death of his father, and struggling to fit in to his new, urban school.  His internalized angst manifests itself in nightmares and bedwetting.  The social implications of Jeremy’s secrets are staged realistically; the interactions at home, in the classroom, and on the playground ring true to any parent, teacher, or child reader.  While the resolution comes perhaps a little too simply for the adult reader, this is not a flaw in a text aimed at Grades 4-6 readers; any plot short-comings are is alleviated by the sound and effective character development.  We watch Jeremy regain the humour and mischievousness common to many young boys, and we rejoice in his final ability to tease his mother again, “Just like Dad.”

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