Kirk could still be different and rebellious without being such a jerk. For that matter, driving a Corvette off a cliff (in Iowa??). I would have rather seen 12 year old Kirk saving some other little kid from a gang of older, bigger bullies by using his brains and his wits.
Again, J.J. Adams has no need to please me. I am just one fan. If millions of people get enjoyment from his work then my sour feelings are just a pile of bantha poo.