Next to the Twilight series, The Diary of a Wimpy kid books are the next most popular reads at my library. That being the case, I decided to read the two books and find out what the big deal is.
First of all, let me get something straight: This is a JOURNAL, not a diary.
In the first book of a series, Jeff Kinney introduces us to Greg Heffley, oblivious middle school student. Diary of a Wimpy Kid takes us through an entire year’s worth of middle school drama, all chronicled in the journal that is a mix of text and a mix of cartoons. Kinney is a natural with preteen dialogue. “The other thing I want to clear up right away is that this was MOM’s idea, not mine.” From Fall to Summer, we follow Greg and his best friend Rowley through Kinney’s very sarcastic and deadpan voice. We see Greg attempt weight training, run for class clown, create a comic series with Rowley, taunt bullies and pick on other kids. The illustrations are hilarious supplements to the written comedy. Heffley is pretty oblivious to his friends and family. One prime example is when Greg and Rowley go out for Halloween, are chased around by some bullies and end up hiding out at Greg’s grandmother’s house. After a night of taunting the bullies from inside the house, Greg finds out that the next day they came back and TP’d his grandmother’s house. Greg’s reaction? “I do feel a little bad, because it looked like it was gonna take a long time to clean up. But on the bright side, Grandma is retired, so she probably didn’t have anything planned for today anyway.”
This is a great read for kids and adults. Its goes through all the same type of emotions and observations kids make, but with comedic flair.
FINAL GRADE: ADiary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney Amulet Books, 2007 ISBN 0810993136 217 pages