I read this book for my Literature & Media for Children class. I am using it for the Eclectic Reader Challenge (Made into a movie), Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge, 52 Books in 52 Weeks, and Literary Friday.
Summary from Goodreads: It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary. In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion. Author/illustrator Jeff Kinney recalls the growing pains of school life and introduces a new kind of hero who epitomizes the challenges of being a kid. As Greg says in his diary, “Just don’t expect me to be all ‘Dear Diary’ this and ‘Dear Diary’ that.” Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won’t do and what he actually does are two very different things.
My review for my class: I was drawn to the format of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which is written in journal entries with cartoons. It reminded me a lot of another book I love, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I still wasn’t sure whether or not I’d like it but I did! I actually laughed out loud (which is rare for me while reading) at the part where Greg is writing thank you notes for his Christmas gifts: “I love the way the pants look on my legs! All my friends will be so jealous that I have my very own pants.” Diary of a Wimpy Kid exceeded my expectations in terms of quality. It is very appropriate for middle-school aged children and deals with issues they might encounter in a humorous way. This book could be read independently, or in a discussion group at school or the library. The only thing I didn’t like about the book is how poorly Greg treated his “best friend” Rowley.
Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars.