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Book review: 'Jacob's Journal of Doom: Confessions of an Almost-Deacon' just right for LDS readers

Published: Saturday, Aug. 11 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

JACOB’S JOURNAL OF DOOM: Confessions of an Almost-Deacon,” by Kenneth Pike and Isaac Stewart, Deseret Book, $14.95, 198 pages (f) (ages 9 and up)

At 11 years old, Jacob is almost old enough to become a deacon and lets readers into his sixth-grade life: A best friend Eric, his nemeses The Beast (who steals his lunch) and class assignments that he forgets until “the night before.”

Jacob lives in a typical Mormon family with regular “media fasts” (time-outs from video games and TV), a lawyer father and a mother who balances Relief Society projects with babysitting jobs. He tolerates an older karate-proficient sister, twin younger sisters and a baby brother.

Jacob is challenged by his Sunday School teacher to keep a journal (thus this book), loves Scouts — especially the overnight camp-outs — and sketching possible video games. “I’m going to make a video game about the scriptures and then parents will have to let their kids play video games on Sundays.”

He attends his meetings for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regularly, understands the importance of the Holy Ghost and finally decides in the missionary spirit to be brave enough to invite his non-member friend to come to church with him, “He’s pretty much the best person I know, so I don’t know why I was afraid.”

Above all else, Jacob’s dream is to become a millionaire by designing a video game but without violence and bad language. “I guess it would have some violence, but the Book of Mormon has tons of violence, too. I think a battle game with Captain Moroni would be awesome.”

“Jacob’s Journal of Doom” is similar to the popular “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” with LDS readers in mind (no questionable language and jokes). Detailed black and white sketches, especially those of Jacob’s strategies and games, emit lighthearted humor. Throughout his life he romps through classroom rivalries, sibling quarrels and finally apologizes when he hurts someone’s feelings. He learns his own potential and family members become “super” instead of antagonists.

“Jacob’s Journal of Doom” is a fun introduction to what hopefully will be an entertaining series for young LDS readers.

How to draw Jacob from 'Jacob's Journal of Doom'

Isaac Stewart, one of the creators of "Jacob's Journal of Doom," shows kids how to draw the main character, Jacob Young.

Email: marilousorensen@ymail.com

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