Thursday, April 1, 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney. New York: Amulet Books, 2007. 224 pages.

Greg Heffley is a pretty average kid. His older brother is a jerk, his younger brother is obnoxious, his best friend is a dork, and his parents don't understand him. And now that he's started his first year of middle school, everything is changing. His friendships aren't the same as they used to be, and he isn't sure what kind of person he wants to become. When his best friend Rowley gains success and popularity as the school cartoonist, and starts to grow away from Greg, he shares the pranks and funny tricks he plays as he tries to make his friendship the same as it used to be.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books have become a cultural phenomenon in the past few years. In my time volunteering at my public library, tweens ask for these books every day--our most common reference question seems to be "Do you have any of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books?" An understanding of these illustrated novels is essential to any public librarian who wants to know what's currently popular. These books capture the self-absorption of middle school kids, and appeal to many middle school boys who see themselves and their troubles in the journal of Greg Heffley. He is neither super popular or a huge loser, the two ends of the spectrum that most teen movies focus on. He's just a regular guy, and his voice comes out in the novel. Highly recommended.

Customer and editorial reviews can be found at is a great site for all the Wimpy Kid books and movies.


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