Friday, December 17, 2021

Guy Friday- Old Guys

Danziger, Paula. Everyone Else's Parents Said Yes (Matthew Martin #1)
Published May 18th 1998 by Putnam & Grosset Group
Library copy

Matthew is ten, and planning the most EPIC 11th birthday party. He's going to have all of his friends, lots of junk food, and sleep out in the yard. He's working really hard to use desktop publishing software to create an awesome invitation, even though his friends know who's invited. He runs into some problems with his sister Amanda, who is older and routinely says things to him like "Doofus. You should use hair conditioner on that mess". To be fair, Matthew sleeps in her room and reads her notebooks, finding things like a sheet of paper with her doodles of "Mrs. Amanda Martin-Cohen", etc. He also manages to make the girls in his school so angry that they form a club named GET HIM, standing for Girls Eager To Halt Immature Matthew. Their founding manifesto is rendered in dot matrix printing in the book, as is Matthew's letter to his parents when they threaten to cancel his party. Will they? Will Matthew continue to be a pain? Will today's young readers care?
Strengths: I must have liked this well enough to buy this book 17 years ago. At one point, I even had a couple of the Naylor Boys vs. Girls War books. It's amusing enough, and Matthew isn't exactly mean spirited, and younger readers will find his antics amusing. 
Weaknesses: There are so many unhealthy relationships in this book. Matthews a brat, his sister is mean (even though that might be justified), and the parents don't follow through. What's going on at school? I just can't. 
What I really think: This series has got to go. It smells bad, and the forth book is all about Matthew babysitting, because a boy couldn't possibly do that, right? Today, we would think that an 11 year old is perhaps not the person to stay with an infant. 

Ms. Yingling

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