Welcome to the second of three recent MG books with male protagonists. Last week I shared my thoughts on AN OCCASIONALLY HAPPY FAMILY and today is a different kind of plot featuring young Danny and his unusual life.
The intriguing opening will have you turning the page for more:
My name is Danny Day. I’ve ditched school 346 times and I still have perfect attendance. I broke my leg last week, but I don’t have a cast. I never study for a test or quiz until I’ve seen what’s on it. I’ve played more than four thousand hours of video games in the past three years, and yet my parents have hardly seen me play. How is this possible, you ask? Well, the answer is pretty simple: I live every day twice.
Each of the 31 chapters lets you know the date and whether it’s a Discard Day where anything goes since all will be forgotten by the next day; or a Sticky Day where all is remembered just like it normally would happen. Danny can take what he learned the first time through and apply it with success on the repeat day.
His family is unaware of his predicament although he has a therapist who has helped him deal with his unusual life. Plenty of bullies to contend with but the plot centers around one of the worst, Noah, who runs a lunchtime paid video game competition where he always wins the interactive Champions Royale. Is he really that good or is there cheating behind the scenes?
Danny sets out to find the answer with the help of two new friends. There’s Freddie, a girl who with some great comebacks and Zak, a music loving, peaceful soul who deals with conflict in his own special way. Gamers will enjoy every minute of the game time portrayed, especially the final match. I had more fun seeing what Danny would do on his Discard Day. Driving the parents’ car was just one of the never do in real life experiences for a sixth grader.
With an unusual plot and a likeable protagonist, THE DOUBLE LIFE OF DANNY DAY, will hopefully make it into many middle grader’s regular day.
BOOK BIRTHDAY: JUNE 15, 2021 PAGE COUNT: 320
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT: THE DOUBLE LIFE OF DANNY DAY by Mike Thayer
- Everyone should have friends like Freddie and Zak. They both bring their own special way of helping Danny. Kind and respectful.
- If you have younger sisters, Danny’s twin sisters will be familiar. They are always getting into trouble with their destructive behavior. Good thing they have an older brother who can help them avoid trouble on the real days since he already knows what is about to happen.
- Learn from your mistakes is the prevalent theme and the story would make a great discussion or writing topic for kids. Which days would you like to have a do-over? Also a good classroom read-aloud.
- Life in sixth grade is portrayed perfectly. With social media’s presence and the typical cliques, you may be comparing it to your middle grade years.
- There’s hint of a sequel which would be fun to see the story continued.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Mike Thayer. Son of Douglas and Donlu Thayer, youngest of six, father of three and husband of one. I spent my youth playing video games, football, jam ball, doorbell ditching, camping, mowing lawns, watching action movies, recording pranks before there was YouTube, pursuing the opposite sex, and day dreaming about super powers and heroic deeds. I served an LDS mission in Rome, Italy where I rubbed shoulders with mob bosses and amassed a collection of fantastic ties. Shortly after that, I married, completed a degree in Chemical Engineering and began procreation. From there, a job in the Oil & Gas industry took me from the Rocky Mountains of Utah to the humid flatlands of Texas.
(For Mike’s full story of how he got into writing visit his author web site)
I just started reading An Occasionally Happy Feeling last night. I’m enjoying it very much. As a former middle-grade teacher, I feel like there is a need for more books with a strong male protagonist.
Thanks for the reviews of male protagonist books. I have been reading many of them also, but I haven’t taken the time to review what I am reading.
Your reviewers may want to consider applying to be CYBILs judges where I met some of your continuing contributors. The deadline to apply is Sept. 1.
What do you do when you read an award-winning YA book that you don’t like?
Thanks for the CYBIL’S info. I’m too busy to take on one more task but maybe one of the other bloggers will grab hold of the opportunity. Also—I’ve read many award winning books I don’t like. I either don’t say anything or if I have already agreed to review, I’ll state both about what I liked and what didn’t work for me. No book is liked universally by all and authors usually understand that.
So glad you enjoyed this one. I’ve been really intrigued by the idea of reliving days. And I’m glad the a main character is a boy. We need more boy books.
I do have this one on my list. I can’t remember who-else reviewed it, but it does sound good. 🙂
This sounds like an intriguing book. I have been curious about it since I first heard of it and your review makes me want to grab a copy! I think it would be hard to keep things straight- living the same day twice. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
This book will certainly be popular among MG students. And, I really like how this book can be used in so many ways in the classroom. My only confusion is how does he live each day twice — it’s a gift? Guess I have to read the book to find out. Made me think a bit of Hermione and the time-turner she uses in The Prisoner of Azkaban. Great pick for students going back to school!
Thank you for bringing this fun book back to the top of my head. I’m going to love reading this one.
I saw this book in another review, and the premise sounds so clever—the cover exemplifies it perfectly too! I love that Danny has a therapist to help him navigate his bizarre situation. And Freddie and Zak sound like great friends! Thanks so much for the great review!
This sounds like a fun book with a serious side. And wouldn’t we all like to live some days over knowing what will happen and how to avoid it. Kudos for featuring boy protagonists. So many books have girl protagonist, and we need more boys.
This sounds like a very interesting book — a lot of fun, but with some serious lessons. I’ll put it on my list. Thanks for telling me about it.
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