We’ve had the wonderful opportunity to review the previous two books in this series, True Story and Church Camp Chaos. To say we loved them would be an understatement. This week we finished off the third book in the series, Diary of a Real Payne: Oh Baby, and I must say that it was my favorite so far.
Diary of a Real Payne is a book about a young girl Emma Jean Payne (or EJ) who has an overactive imagination that often gets her into difficult (and usually hilarious) situations. The reader is given an inside glimpse into her daydreams and creative musings throughout the book.
Each chapter begins with a diary entry written by EJ and then the chapter describes the details mentioned in the diary. Throughout the story, EJ lapses into her own world of daydreaming and the reader is pulled along for the ride.
In this third book, Oh Baby, EJ’s family has recently adopted a baby named Faith who adds lots of noise, chaos, and smiles in the Payne household. EJ must navigate life as a big sister to two younger siblings as well as deal with the other adventures of a 5th grader in small-town Wisconsin. EJ attends dog training classes, becomes a certified babysitter, has her first babysitting experience, and participates in the wedding of two of her neighbors.
The book focuses on the family life and Christian values of the Payne family. EJ learns lessons in treating others well, being responsible, and loving others-and this includes her sometimes annoying younger brother.
What did we think?
This book was for Curly age 8. She’s read the other books in the series and was looking forward to the next adventures of EJ. These books have been perfect for her reading level (in the age 7-12 range).
I read the book before handing it over to Curly who was eagerly waiting for me to finish. I don’t normally enjoy reading some of the books geared for young children, but this book was a definite exception. As I was reading I found myself laughing out loud at the story. The description of the babysitter training course with the robot babies was especially funny as was EJ’s little brother’s zany superhero outfit at the swimming pool. I also found myself enjoying the sweet and poignant family moments, especially between EJ and her younger brother. It was the perfect mix of fun, creativity, hilarity, and Christian values that made this book a permanent addition to our bookshelf.
After hearing me giggle over this book, Curly was only too happy to snatch it from me when I finished. She’s now enjoying the book herself and I can hear her giggling away as she reads about EJ’s many mishaps.
We have loved this series for promoting family values but also delivering a story that is entertaining, uplifting, and hilariously funny. We can’t wait to see what is next from this author!
You can purchase this book from Barbour Publishing for $4.99.