Reviews for Mealworm Diaries

Booklist Reviews 2009 April #2
After his family moves from rural Nova Scotia to Toronto, Jeremy has a hard time settling in to his new school. His adjustment feels even harder after he is paired with a socially awkward student, Aaron, in a science-fair project involving mealworms. Jeremy is embarrassed by Aaron's frequently out-of-control behavior, and he acts with cruelty towards his partner. As the story unfolds through flashbacks, readers learn that Jeremy feels responsible for the death of his father, and as he gradually accepts the truth of his dad's fatal accident, Jeremy also gains compassion for Aaron. In her debut novel, Kerz effectively conveys the insular social dynamics of a grade-school classroom and presents winning portraits of Jeremy and his understanding family and teacher. Readers will enjoy this quiet story as they absorb its simple but timeless message about the importance of kindness. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 March #2
Still mourning the death of his father, Jeremy finds that his new life in Toronto is made more difficult by an impulsive classmate, his assigned partner in a long-term science project that involves the mealworms of the title. Aaron "Cantwait" not only has difficulty staying on task, he is awkward and clumsy, but he sees Jeremy as a friend. By day, Jeremy struggles to distance himself from the boy and fit into his new school; at night he relives the motorcycle accident that killed his father and injured his leg, an accident he believes he caused. In spite of his mother's patient understanding, he is mortified that his nightmares make him wet the bed. This moving first novel deftly weaves these serious issues into a realistic depiction of an ordinary boy moving forward despite his loss and doing the right thing by his troubled classmate. While Jeremy is the focus of the third-person narrative, his growing interest in a girl and involvement in coeducational sports activities--cross-country track and rope skipping--will add interest for all readers of this poignant tale. (Fiction. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.