When is a diary not a diary? When it’s the Dude Diary, created especially for tween and young teen boys who may not be interested in journaling, but wouldn’t mind learning a few more annoying tricks. Like Dude!, Dude Diary is filled with activities that will encourage writing as well as getting on other people’s nerves (a talent that comes in handy later in life, too).
Mickey and Cheryl Gill, creators of Coke or Pepsi? Universe and the Dude! Series, describe Dude Diary thusly, “Finally a place for all that really important stuff like weird things you’ve seen, gaming scores, sweaty sports, TV shows, and the ultimate candy bar. Plus, alien abductions, sharks vs. crocodiles, and superhuman powers — all from the secret vault of your awesome brain.” Because there are well guarded secrets involved in the creation of each guy’s non-diary, it has a lock and key for him to control who exactly gets to see his private musings.
Who could resist the temptation to complete such writing activities as “What amazing invention do you have brewing in your brain? (or what do you wish someone would invent?,” “If you were invisible for just one day, what would you do?,” and one that may inspire reading the Franz Kafka classic Metamorphosis, “What if you woke up this morning as a cockroach? What would you do?”
Guys can inventory favorite sports, Halloween costumes, and television shows in Dude Diary, and explain why those things appeal to them. Many kids are familiar with “Human Experiment #2,” the one in which you “hold your finger and thumb about 1” apart up near your eyes. Pretend to squash people’s heads or entire bodies.” After performing the experiment, young mad scientists are invited to record who their subjects were and their reactions.
“Human Experiment #1” is not as familiar (at least not to this overgrown tween): “Using your pointer finger, trace in the air an outline around your family and friends,” and then describe your findings on what people said and did. Just imagining the looks you get when your family is screaming “What are you doing? Stop it!” is hilarious. (I am definitely not someone you want around your kids, unless they need “encouragement.”)
Dude Diary also asks about important topics like anger and bullying, and provides space to write about both topics as they affect the reader’s life. This might just get guys interested in writing to express their feelings, which is a very positive plus (I think that’s redundant).
Maybe the young gentlemen in your life are not interested in reading, writing stories, or exploring their feelings. Dude Diary has enough references to aliens, superpowers, slimy things, rude behavior, junk food, and grossness that the guys aren’t even going to notice they’re engaged in those pursuits. To learn more about the Dude! Series, visit The Dude Book website which offers a peek into the books, free downloadable printables (signs, masks, door hangers), and weird sound effects.
Bottom Line: Would I buy Dude Diary? Yep — my eleven-year-old buddy needs a copy (don’t tell his mom).