I must admit that I was not overly-enthused when the offer came to review Jacob’s Journal of Doom, a new book for youth that fancies itself something of a Latter-day Saint version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I was arrogant enough to assume that I’d outgrown this type of literature, and I didn’t look forward to informing the publisher that I’d read the book but wouldn’t be reviewing it because this column only features media that I deem worthwhile (again with the arrogance).
You can understand my surprise, then, when I found myself utterly charmed by this clever, funny, and even inspiring little book which helped me to rediscover who I was as a child.
Taking the form of a journal written by an eleven year old “almost-deacon” in California, Jacob’s Journal of Doom could have been written by a kid in your ward (if he were exceptionally witty), so familiar is the protagonist’s young voice and the world he inhabits.
Jacob deals with bullies, playground politics, sibling rivalries, and embarrassing parents while entertaining super-heroic fantasies, chasing dreams of fortune as a video-game designer, and nurturing a blossoming testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Older kids and young teens, especially boys, will be delighted with how relatable the book is and may laugh out loud at the imaginative drawings that accompany the story. Parents will appreciate messages about following the Holy Ghost, fostering family unity, and sharing the Gospel that are woven throughout the entertaining tale. Kenneth Pike and Isaac Stewart, collaborating in writing and illustrating the book, have created the most enjoyable fictional little boy since Calvin roamed the woods with Hobbes.