Once again the new kid at a new school, Weir (last name Do, rhymes with “go”) learns that his name is just the beginning of his problems.
With an episodic narrative style perfect for fans of David Pilkey and his ilk, author Do introduces Weir, his ridiculous and recognizable family, his propensity to say and do the wrong things, and his growing crush on Bella Allen. Dynamic type changes and Faber’s clean line drawings punctuate the spare text, making this an accessible choice for emergent and reluctant readers. Weir’s apparently multiracial family (black-haired dad was born in Vietnam, and light-haired mom’s maiden name was Weir), including a flagrantly flatulent farter—er, father and a terror of a toddler brother, should resonate with a range of readers. Of less interest and relevance to readers of this genre, perhaps, are Weir’s expressions of gendered norms. Younger readers may find Weir’s romance unlikely or even off-putting, and older readers may wonder at the casual misogyny of a boys’ muscle contest. Weir’s description of Bella as the “seventh-best-looking girl at school,” complete with an illustration of the seven girls lined up in order of prettiness, is equally unnecessary and unfunny, as is a reference to gendered clothing. All of the characters are depicted with paper-white skin.
A mix of chortle-inducing comedic insight and cringeworthy comic tropes. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 7-10)