Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney

Books 46, 47 & 48 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 1 of 50 for the New Author Challenge

Awards books in this series have received: Book Sense Book of the Year Award/Honorees; Publishers Weekly Best Book; Quill Book Awards; YALSA Top Ten; VOYA Award/Honor

rating: 2.75 of 5 stars

Since my 8 year old has been raving about this series, I decided to pick them up and see what all the fuss is about. They were great to take along in the car since I got them all read over a week of running errands and sitting in parking lots waiting for my kids.

Greg Heffley is a 6th grader (7th in the second two books) who is small for his age and of average intelligence. He has a teenage brother, Rodrick, and a baby brother, Manny, who are a big part of the stories. His friend Rowley is super immature (he has sleepovers with 1st graders from his karate class) which bugs Greg to no end, but he doesn't really have any other close friends. Greg is always getting into mischief as he tries to be more popular, attract the attention of girls and stay under the radar of his parents.

I know my daughter likes these books because she really likes graphic novels.
I can definitely see the appeal: The insides of the books look like the inside of a journal, complete with cute comics. These don't really qualify as graphic novels, but there is such a limited selection for the middle grades that she'll take these.

The conservative mom in me isn't really a fan. The kid in me thinks they're pretty funny though.
There is an abundance of bathroom humor (Greg's brother is in a band called Loded Diper) and there is quite a bit of sarcasm which I think may go over the head of younger kids (like my 7 year old son). I'm glad I read them because I can talk about their merits with my kids. And, I give major props to the author who wrote in a strong mom character. Greg never gets away with anything in the end.

The books are written at a 5th grade level and I would only recommend them for ages 8 to 12. Although Greg is in 7th grade, I think the books would appeal to a slightly younger set where wearing Wonder Woman underoos is still funny.

Other reviews of books in this series include:
Let me know if I missed yours!


Melissa said...

You know, you're right: the mom is a good, strong mom. I'd never thought about it before (why, I don't know, since I'm always harping on the bad moms out there)... but it's true. Agreed: kudos to Jeff Kinney. (Besides, he's a really nice guy. Or at least he seems like one.)

Tricia said...

My daughter and I were talking today about what we liked in the book and I told her I liked the mom and she ROLLED HER EYES!

MOMSWEB said...

Thanks for this review! I have an eleven year old that I have to MAKE read, but he loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series! Hey, at least he's reading!
I enjoyed my visit to your blog.

Jill said...

I really need to read the sequels some time. I brought them home from the library, but both my kids have been rereading them, then swapping and rereading, that they haven't given me a chance. I'll have to make my move while they're at school, I guess. Mwahaha!

Lynn said...

Eric's mom got these for Aidan, and he loves them. I read half of one and was so upset with it. Maybe I needed to finish the book, but I saw no redeeming value.

The older brother is mean, and so Greg wants to be mean to the little brother to feel better about himself, but the mom won't let him. Why didn't she protect Greg from the older brother when she had the chance? And because Greg is small and average at school, he picks on the one kid smaller than he is.

I told Aidan that these are okay to read for fun, but they won't count for his reading time, and I won't allow him to take them to school.

Missy B. said...

I've tagged you with an award!

Thoughts of Joy said...

Thank you for including me in your links. :) I only read the first one, but we definitely thought alike on it.

Unknown said...

Thanks for including me in your link! :)

Sarah McBride said...

good to know about this series. My nephew has been gaga for them and told Peter about them, so Peter has been wanting to read it now as well. Since he is now too old for Junie b Jones, he has wanted a new series to read.