Dear Dumb Diary #2: My Pants Are Haunted

Series: Dear Dumb Diary

by Jim Benton, Illustrated By Jim Benton

Scholastic Paperbacks
October 2004

Ages 7 – 10 . Grades 2 – 5

Library of Congress: 2004304141

Lexile measure: 930L

DRA: 50

Guided Reading: V



They were just a soft, ordinary pair of thrift-shop jeans until Jamie Kelly tried them on . . . Then they became a tight, scratchy, slightly smelly, and utterly ordinary pair of thrift-shop jeans with an embarrassing haunting problem. Do the pants have the power to soothe a vengeful beagle, vanquish The Prettiest Girl in the World, or make the wearer irresistible to the eighth cutest guy in the grade? Are the haunted pants so dazzling they can hurt and maybe permanently damage the eyes of onlookers? Or are the haunted pants just, well, haunted (which is kind of gross when you think about it)?
Jim Benton

Jim Benton is an award-winning author and artist. You may know some of the other things he's made, like It's Happy Bunny, Dear Dumb Diary, Franny K. Stein, Victor Shmud, and more. He's created a TV series, written books, and produced a movie, and he always did everything his parents told him to do. Pretty much. Jim lives in Michigan with his wife and kids and can be found online at


  • What's new, what's cool: Dear Dumb Diary'
    By Jennifer Tobia
    Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service
    An entertainment or product review - anything from books and video games to
    Web sites and music.
    "Dear Dumb Diary," by Jim Benton (Scholastic, $4.99).
    Middle-schooler Jamie Kelly is mad. She's mad at Angeline, the most popular
    and prettiest girl in the world (or at least in Mackerel Middle School).
    Jamie is mad at the fact that she has to go to middle school in the first
    place. She's mad at her disapproving parents, and mad at Hudson Rivers (the
    eighth cutest guy in her grade) for not noticing her. Her only hope is to
    console in her diary, the one place where she can spill her heart out and
    draw pictures of how things really look.

    "Dear Dumb Diary" (Scholastic, $4.99) by Jim Benton is a look at Jamie's
    life in her own words. Her adventures include avoiding trouble (or getting
    into it) with her partner in crime, Isabella; rating people on a "Loser"
    scale; dealing with crazy cafeteria monitor Miss Bruntford; and observing
    and caring for her dog Stinker.

    You'll laugh out loud at what this girl has to say.

    From Our Editors The Barnes & Noble Review
    The hilarious author of the Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist books zaps fans with another new series, this time about a girl braving the trials and tribulations of middle school. Told in knee-slapping diary entries, the first installment of Jamie Kelly's tales begins as "the worst thing that can happen to you in middle school" almost occurs: getting a nasty nickname (for all of you uneducated souls out there). From there, Jamie goes on to describe a schoolmate's misfortune of using ChocoMint lip smacker; her interest in almost-hunk boy Hudson Rivers; and most of all her unkind feelings toward Angeline, a pretty blonde girl who Jamie's sure is "scorpion-like" beneath her sweet exterior. But when a mysterious culprit smacks the school's cafeteria monitor in her "neck blubber" with meatloaf, Jamie takes the heat and winds up almost-pals with Angeline. Jim Benton delivers a wonderfully silly series that combines his knack for knowing what kids love to read with fun illustrations. Young audiences will eat up Jamie's diary descriptions of stealing Angeline's hair out of the wastebasket, her "glazed" cousin, and just about every other crazy event that happens, while parents are sure to see their kids beg for more Dumb Diary books. As the subtitle suggests, we can pretend this never happened, but in reality we're sure happy it did. Shana Taylor


Paperback / softback

Perfect-bound Paperback

ISBN: 9780439629058

144pp. | 5-¼ x 7-⅝