Kirkus Reviews QR Code
I HATE COMPANY by P.J. Petersen


by P.J. Petersen & illustrated by Betsy James

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-525-45329-6
Publisher: Dutton

Dan (I Hate Camping, 1991, etc.) puts up with long-term guests in the small apartment where he and his mother live: Mom's old friend Kay (a smoker—bleah!) and her irrepressible three- year-old son, Jimmy. Kay, reeling from a divorce, needs to crash there until she finds a job, which could take forever in this job market. Desperate to get his privacy back, Dan ``helps'' her job search and nearly blows it—but he inadvertently wins her the right job in the end. The young narrator's voice sounds authentic, but his take on the world just doesn't ring true: The toddler never seems as obnoxious nor the adults as obtuse as Dan claims. Instead we have a bland, predictable plot with mild conflicts, watered-down dangers, and pat resolutions—a pity, considering what serious family issues it touches (or only grazes). And it isn't even very funny—four or five chuckles at most. It's hard enough to get boys this age to read: This won't do the trick. (Fiction. 7-9)