Vin and the Dorky Duet is a middle grade adventure novella like no other I have read for a long time. It is written in a kid-friendly tone and it will keep a child’s attention from beginning to end. Right from the first chapter, the reader will be drawn into the story. It is kind of like a wimpy kid diary.
The story is about a 12-year-old boy named Vin. He gets talked into going on a mission. The old knights had a lot more optimism than he did to accomplish some of the feats. He endures many things as part of Operation BS such as compost heaps, man-eating bubble baths, and other disasters. He is at the brink of giving up on all of these antics. But his sister Meg talks him into continuing after she promises to give him a David Beckham autographed soccer jersey.
This novel is about how sibling rivalry and pressures come up constantly in families. Vin is constantly challenged by Meg to do something he doesn’t want to do. This creates endless tensions but also Vin discovered strengths as the story progresses. Vin discovers that he is a lot stronger than he first thought. But Vin also discovers that life doesn’t always work out. The expected doesn’t happen all the time.
What I absolutely love about Maggie Lyons’ book is that it is not a typical hero’s journey. If it was a typical hero story, Vin would have to come out the winner and everyone would live happily after. But this doesn’t happen. Instead, the story ends without any real guarantees of happiness or a happily ever after. It is a realistic portrayal of family life.
Maggie Lyons does a superb job of setting the story. The dialogue is very realistic of a pre-teen boy’s concerns and voice. I was thoroughly impressed with how Maggie Lyons wrote Vin and the Dorky Duet. It is the mark of a gifted writer. My nephew chuckled as he read the story and was able to relate to Vin completely.