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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Jeff Pennant's Field Guide to Raising Happy Parents by Kelli McKinney is charming, fun, and witty. It has lots of heart and personality. The main character is Jeff, who tells how he can't relate to his parents. They tell him one thing and then something different. He feels he's being stifled and misunderstood because he only wants to hang out with his friends. After all, his parents keep telling him to be happy. His personality really shines, and he has a sharp mind and is scientifically inclined, so this is how he deals with life as it comes up. But it doesn't seem to help with the problems he has with his parents, especially his mother. He is grounded, as many kids are, and he tries to sort out how to avoid this so he can go to GamerCon with his best friends. He receives help from the teacher in his science club, and he thinks an instruction manual on how to raise parents would be helpful.
This easy-to-read book will have you engaged from the first few pages. Jeff is an endearing, real, and well-rounded character, from his sometimes-irreverent attitude to his quirky ideas. This is a boy most kids can relate to. Kids often wonder why they can't communicate with their parents at times, and they want to branch out and have fun away from them, but they don’t like getting into trouble. This book would be perfect for a classroom, for parents to buy for their kids, or for kids to buy for their parents. An original gem for any tween-ager. Overall, a delightful story! If you want something fun and adventurous, treat yourself to Jeff Pennant's Field Guide to Raising Happy Parents by Kelli McKinney.