Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Comedy by Jeff Kinney


Being a kid can really stink. And no one knows this better than Greg Heffley, who finds himself thrust into high school where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. Luckily Greg has his best friend and sidekick, Rowley. But when Rowley's popularity starts to rise, it kicks off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion. ' This 'novel in cartoons' should keep readers in stitches, eagerly anticipating Gregs further adventures.' Publishers Weekly 'Laugh-out-loud... lots of fun throughout.' Booklist

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Greg Heffley has just started middle school and is “encouraged” by his mother to keep a journal in which he can express his feelings. Although he would not admit it, Greg actually enjoys keeping record of his life in this journal (boys don’t keep diaries!), especially as he expresses himself more through drawing rather than writing. And, Greg has quite a lot to express. For a boy his age (not stated anywhere in the story, but probably 11 or 12) he is surprisingly cynical and unenthusiastic about life. Perhaps that is why his mother got him started on the diary in the first place, as this is clearly a troubled and frustrated little boy. With a much older and a much younger brother – neither of whom he gets along with – his family life is often a struggle. Despite being quite intelligent, he does not really find anything or anybody at school exciting or interesting and he has a hard time making friends. In fact, he does not really have any interest in making friends, although he is quite aware that he needs them; therefore his awkward but loyal friendship to good-natured Rowley. I have been curious about this series for a long time and have decided to read it as part of my blog research. Thus far, I still have somewhat mixed feelings about it. And as I read reviews from others I see the same feelings, especially from adult readers and parents. The concerns about this story are that Greg is usually lazy, quite negative, selfish, doesn’t seem to really like his own best friend and never really tries to do his best in any way. It usually feels “wrong” to read stories like that and, by nature, one is even more worried when this is found in children’s literature. However, children seem to love these books with a fiery obsession, so the author must be doing something right, I guess. I have tried my best to find the credit due to this book. Firstly, cynical and less positive children also need to know that others are faced with the same challenges they are. Let’s be honest, not everybody can be as naïve and easy-going as Rowley and not everybody loves sports or sleepovers. As adults, we often tell ourselves that it is okay not to go with the crowd, but shouldn’t children be able to hear this as well? Secondly, although moral “lessons” and character growth are not even remotely the objectives of this book, the story makes it quite clear that sometimes something is obviously wrong and, whatever one chooses to do, one will have to live with the consequences. At one point Greg admits: “…every once in a while, it’s not such a bad idea to listen to your mother.” And although it is debatable whether he has learned from his mistakes, it is evident that he had to deal with the consequences of his choices. Also, kids who are cynical enough to truly identify with Greg’s character will probably be intelligent enough to recognise that his actions are often foolish and might “learn” from his mistakes anyway. Thirdly, there is a mood of dry humour that runs through the whole book that kids seem to really love – even the less cynical ones. The drawings aid this humour stunningly and although the humour is often quite immature, even I couldn’t help but laugh a few times. My favourite moment was when Greg realises his template-style thank you notes do not quite fit the bill for all his received Christmas presents. Coming back to the drawings, I really do like that they are not mere illustrations but actually forms part of the story line; the text and pictures work together to tell the story. Yes, many of the drawings merely illustrate what is happening – and sheds light on the humorous aspect of the situation – but there are also many instances in which the illustration contains information which is not included in the text itself. Although I don’t always agree with the negativity and the lack of moral emphasis, this book does succeed in giving a shout-out to the kids out there who are not like the “regular” kids and see life in a different way – those with a dry sense of humour, those who don’t like being outdoors or meeting new people or those who don’t have good relationships with their siblings. It is okay to accept that you are different and it is okay to like yourself – even when there is plenty of room for improvement.

0 Responses posted in March


A book for a younger audience. Buddy-read it with my sister. She loved it, it did not, but as she had a good time, we had a good time.

0 Responses posted in June


Its a nice book for younger kids, it really helped my brother.

0 Responses posted in November
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