Anh Do’s new book series Weir Do is about a boy with a very odd name. Not only that, he comes from an odd family and he himself has a few, well, weird habits. But besides that, he is just a regular kid who likes to draw and is trying to to get through middle school. The story’s premise does have appeal for elementary school readers, but the author’s gross jokes may not be for everyone and the series itself does not have anything that sets it apart from other similar books.
In the first book Weir Do, Weir starts a new school year, which begins with everyone laughing at his name. Readers are introduced to his eccentric family, a new strange friend, and Bella, the prettiest girl in his grade. As Weir settles into his new social life, he tries his best to be not as weird as people perceive him to be, but it is easier said than done. In Weir Do #2: Even Weirder!, Weir is excited to be invited to Bella’s birthday party. But before the festivities, he needs to survive a school trip to the zoo with his grandfather, the weekly shopping trip with his money saving mother, and creating the best costume to impress his classmates and Bella.
This Australian series is very similar to other diary inspired novels, but these books are shorter and geared towards a younger audience. Each chapter is short, always narrated by the main character, and have illustrations related to the chapter’s plot. The illustrations, drawn by Jules Faber, are simple, black and white scenes of characters in their funniest moments or committing their weird behaviors. There are also scenes of Weir’s imagination going wild across the page and characters speaking in speech bubbles. Some parts of the text are in color or blown up, depending upon the scene or Weir’s description. Other than these details, there is not much about this series that sets it apart from similar titles. The stories themselves contain a variety of gross jokes, especially Weir’s flatulent father with a talent for belching songs, but it gets to be a bit too much.
Anh Do’s Weir Do series has a few humorous moments, but it does not stand out against other books. Librarians would want to consider Weir Do as an additional purchase for their collection. It does have some appeal for children in grades 2nd-4th, especially those who are not bothered by gross jokes, but there are other titles, such as Big Nate, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Dork Diaries, that should be higher purchase priorities.
By Anh Do
Art by Jules Faber
Vol. 1 ISBN: 9781338305586
Weir Do #2: Even Weirder!
Vol. 2 ISBN: 9781338305616
Publisher Age Rating: 7-10