Thursday, October 06, 2011
Book Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney (Amulet, 2007)
I am an unabashed fan of the Wimpy Kid series - I've read all but the last one, and am right there with my kids in the wait for Cabin Fever, the next book in the series (39 days from today!). Dude had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Kinney at ComicCon a few years ago and he could not have been a nicer guy, autographing his book and mentioning that he had a son with the same name (I don't know if he calls his kid Dude, though).
Greg Heffley is a middle school ne'er do well - he's lazy, he's selfish, and he can't figure out what everyone else's problem is. Despite these qualities, he's wildly funny, and he does try to do the right thing (he just tends to get a little lost on the way to doing it). He's a middle schooler, he's just trying to navigate life and make things easier on himself. Can you blame him?
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a good book for several reasons, aside from it's compulsive readability: the characters are well-written and funny, Greg has a clear voice, and this book shows boys and girls alike that keeping a diary - or a journal, whatever you choose to call it - is a good thing. Writing, even to a slacker kid like Greg, can be something fun to do. The book even resembles a diary on the inside and out, with lined pages, handwriting font, and hand-drawn pictures that look like Greg had drawn them filling the book.
Jeff Kinney's Wimpy Kid series is one of the most popular middle-grade series out today, with five book currently out and the sixth coming in November. The Wimpy Kid website offers information about all of the books (and a countdown clock for Cabin Fever) and offers news and information about the author, a link to "Wimp Yourself" where kids can create their own Wimpy Kid using preselected templates, links to merchandise.