Sneak a peek into Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Greg won’t mind.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney; published by Amulet Books, an imprint of Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 2007; 217 pages.

Greg Heffley is about 52nd or 53rd in line for most popular at his middle school.  The thought of a meteoric rise to the top spot affects nearly every decision Greg makes.  Inevitably, all his endeavors backfire, usually with his best friend Rowley Jefferson benefiting in the popularity department.  Lucky for us, his mom buys him a diary—uh, journal; sorry, Greg—to record his escapades.  Between his naïve descriptions of misapprehended plots for popularity and the cartoons that are worth-a-thousand-words, readers will be kept in stitches.  Middle school readers will identify with Greg’s problems.

This book artfully combines text and illustrations to tell the often humorous tales of this middle-schooler.  It has been off the shelves in the elementary library where I work since we added it to the collection.  Whenever Book Fair rolls around, the “Wimpy Kid” series are the hottest sellers among the fourth and fifth graders.  However, it is typically the fifth graders that check it out—especially as the end of the year rolls around and middle school looms across the summer.  I love its humor and lessons in coping, but most of all, I am grateful for another author that glamorizes journaling. 

This book won the 2008 Buckeye Children’s Book Award for grades 3-5.  It’s popularity among younger teens can’t be denied.   Another interesting fact to share with tweens is that author Jeff Kinney is the creator of Poptropica.com, a popular tween website that is part virtual world and part gaming paradise for the younger set (ages 8-15).

5P     4Q     Grades 5-8

Diary_of_a_wimpy_kidCover Art: The title alone is enough to get the attention of preteens and tweens.  The art and description (“a novel in cartoons”) will be irresistible to this group:  a taped on piece of notebook paper with a backpacked, sad sack drawing of a kid; the obvious formally embossed “diary” from the cover of a journal; and the hastily added blue and white “of a Wimpy Kid” are all descriptive of the contents of the book. 

From Reading List:  Teens Top Ten

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