For What It's Worth

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Misadventures of Phillip Isaac Penn Virtual Blog Tour Review

Pip, whose real name is Phillip Isaac Penn, feels that the world is against him as he struggles to deal with angry parents, a bossy older sister, a frazzled teacher, and memorable characters such as Bully Bart, Cheater Chaz, Know-It-All Nell, Liar Lizzy, Stealer Steffan, Conman Cody, and Tattle-Tale Tess. Every day of the week brings another challenge that Pip handles in his own endearing way. Yet, no matter how hard he tries, he realizes that it’s just not easy being a kid. (Ages 9-12)
June 8, 2011


The Misadeventures of Philip Isaac Penn follows Pip through a typical week. Each day usually starts the same way, with someone yelling PIP! You see, Pip is a typical young boy, getting into trouble and annoying his older sister but in that clueless way that boys often have. What is so wrong about cleaning the glue off his mom's hairdryer by washing it in the tub?
As we follow Pip's daily adventures I found myself wanting to defend Pip more and more. Sometimes Pip was in the wrong but more often than not, it was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Since Pip is an inquisitive child he does often do the wrong thing (although not out of maliciousness) so he often is the target of blame by his teachers when things go wrong even though it was someone else's fault.
Pip tries very hard to avoid his misadventures but with classmates like Bully Bart, Cheater Chaz, Know-It-All Nell, Liar Lizzy, Stealer Steffan, Conman Cody, and Tattle-Tale Tess that's not always easy.
Every chapter follows the same pattern. Pip wakes up, gets into trouble at home, makes his way to school to get into more trouble, then before he goes to bed he reflects on his day. He looks back and tries to work out what he could have changed and if there was anything he could have done better.
I was a little frustrated that the adults were less than supportive of Pip. Sometimes Pip was in the right but a teacher never saw that and Pip would just have to live with it. It wasn't until I got to the discussions questions at the end of the story that I understood why the author wrote some of the chapters without a real resolution and appreciated the value in her writing it that way. 
Example discussion question: "The grown-ups in this story often get angry with Pip, and seem to be picking on him. Have you ever felt like the grown-ups you know were picking on you, even when it wasn't your fault? How did you respond?……"
There are also questions that bring up the topics of bullying and cheating.
Yes, we could have all of Pip's problems resolved and all the adults apologize for being wrong but let's face it….that's not reality. Sometimes good doesn't win out, especially in school and Peterson has written a story that will help parents open up a dialogue with their children about these topics. I think it will (or at least I hope it will) give parents something to think about too. It's often easier to blame the exuberant child that can't stay still rather than take the time to really look into a situation.
This will be a particularly good book for boys that are high energy and always frustrated with their emotions. As I mentioned earlier, this is a good book to get an open discussion going.

*Follow the Misadventures of Philip Isaac Penn tour & meet the author, Donna Peterson, by clicking HERE. There are several giveaways along the tour.

Goodreads Page

Pre-order the book! The Mis-Adventures of Phillip Isaac Penn (June 8, 2011)
Publisher: Cedar Fort Books

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