Rummanah Aasi
   I had never heard of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series until I began my student teaching in an elementary school. Students clamored for this book every period. The library had a waiting list of at least 15 students per book. I even had to prevent numerous heated arguments from escalating and had to quickly use my reading advisory skills to provide readalikes. The series has taken the children’s literature by storm. There are currently five books in the series and a movie based on the first book. All throughout my student teaching, I kept asking myself: What is the Wimpy phenomenon? In order to search for the answer, I tried to check it out from the library, but I failed since it was constantly checked out. So when I saw it on sale at a used library book sale for $1, I decided to buy it and give it a shot.

 Description: Greg Heffley records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school and accompanies the entries by hand drawn illustrations. These experiences include performing in a school play, dealing with bullies, and getting in trouble at home.

Review: Let me preface this review by saying that I’m clearly not the targeted audience for this series. I do, however, see and understand its appeal to children. Greg’s episodic adventures are universally well known and humorous. The book is not written condescendingly by an adult for kids. The drawing and the written entries make the reading experience intimate and allow readers to read a book while ‘not reading’. The book’s purpose is to entertain a reader and nothing more. I believe it accomplishes that and even allows reluctant readers to become readers.

Rating: 2.5 stars

Word of caution: None. I’d recommend it to ages 8 to 12.

If you like this book, try: Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko, The Big Splash by Jack D. Ferraiolo, Bone by Jeff Smith, Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell, Happyface by Stephen Emond,
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos, Lily B. on the Brink of Cool by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel,
Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf by Jennifer Holm, Punished by David Lubar, Schooled by Gordon Korman, The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman, or The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex

1 Response
  1. MZMollyTL Says:

    Rum, I must be an 11 year old trapped in a much older body, because The Diary of A Wimpy Kid made me laugh out loud! So many things in the book rang true (including the part where the mom shuns what Greg and his friends are reading and recommends classics that Greg wants no part of at all). Having said that, by the fourth book I was quite ready to smack Greg - he is a pretty rotten, self-absorbed jerk most of the time. We just finished watching the movie as a family and that was pretty good as well, despite the addition of a completely new character. Keep up the good work on the blog.

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