The surprise hit of the year, this easy-to-read first person expose of middle school life told by sixth grader Greg Heffley through cartoons and hand-written journal entries has sold more than a million copies. It's throw-yourself-on-the-floor-and-roll-around-howling hilarious, and boys, especially, are inhaling this book. All those 97-pound weaklings out there can really identify with a kid who figures he's somewhere around 52nd or 53rd most popular at school and whose slacker older bother, Rodrick, belongs to a heavy metal band called Löded Diaper. Reluctant readers? Not anymore.
Thankfully, for the kids who will demand another book just like this one, there's a sequel, Rodrick Rules, that readers may decide is even funnier, and there are more to come. Guaranteed, there will be copycat titles in the next few years by other writers who latch on to the contemporary, clueless, and earnest style of this post-Captain Underpants phenomenon. Go to www.wimpykid.com to find out more about the books and the author. If you want to read all of Kinney's original comics on which the books were based, go to www.funbrain.com. Kids will want to compare their print version to what's online. And then check out the author's blog at gregheffley.blogspot.com.
Reviewed by JF.
Themes: DIARIES. FRIENDSHIP. HUMOR. MIDDLE SCHOOL.
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2007
Suggested Ages: 9 and Up