Title : Journals of the Big Mouth Bass
Author : Debbie Sue Bass Williamson
Publisher : Souper Publishing
ISBN : 978-0-9801234-1-8
Debbie receives a journal from her mother as birthday present and this particular present catches her fancy more than anything else. She is a girl who is well aware of her incapability of keeping secrets to herself and this nature of hers has already earned her the title 'Big Mouth Bass'. So the journal functions as the perfect rescuer for her - a perfect place to pour out her heart's secrets, her experiences, feelings and thoughts, without holding anything back. She decides to address her journal entries to God with the confidence that God won't let her secrets out. She confides everything here - her (mis) adventures as part of the Sunny Side Gang, her failed attempts to behave in a more girly manner, her struggle to be accepted in certain groups, her misery of being last to be picked up for the games of dodge ball and her first crush - are just a few of the issues that she has to deal with.
So the whole book is in the voice of a nine-year old who thinks herself as a - 'sort of dorky with buck teeth, red hair and lots of freckles'.
Debbie Bass is a suburban girl growing up in 1960s and through her journal entries she gives a glimpse of the journey of a girl trying to make sense of the age old traditions, values and family restrictions while keeping her eyes on the wider promising unfathomed world.
There are some portions which are straight from the heart of a girl who is going through the difficult phase of growing up. However, after reading the whole journal, I am contemplating whether it is the kind of book I would give to my nine-year old son to read or not. There are a couple of chapters I have objection with - one depicting the magic and visualization and another is towards the end when the death of a certain character can jolt the young readers. So I would urge the parents to read this book first and then take the decision. The last chapters brought back the memories of 'Bridge to Terabithia'
Overall an engaging and entertaining book. The short abrupt sentences completely reflect the distracted mind of a nine-year old. Girls will be able to relate more to it simply because the protagonist is a girl and has described the experiences of transitioning from a little girl to the pre-teen phase of life.