Sunday, February 2, 2014

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a wimpy kid : Greg Heffley's journal
Author:  Jeff Kinney
Illustrator:  Jeff Kinney
Published: 2007 
Well, I broke down and read Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  My youngest son has begged me to read it for years. Parts of this book made me laugh out loud.  This book definitely captures the life of a middle school boy!  It makes me think of all of the embarassing situations you end up in while in middle school and I cringed - but mostly I laughed.  As a mom of a middle school boy and a high school boy that knows how to push my buttons, I loved reading about how the mom tortured the kids.  Showing up as the substitute!  Forcing Greg to take his little brother trick-or-treating!  Mixing up the gifts and giving Greg a sweater for Christmas!  What could be worse than clothes for Christmas!?  HA!  That's not the focus of the book, just some special moments for moms!

So, this book is supposedly Greg Heffley's journal.  He journals about his days
in middle school, his relationship with his brothers, and his relationships with his friends.  I have to admit, I did watch this movie with my son and enjoyed reading the book more than watching the movie, but with one exception.  The scene where Greg goes to spend the night at Fregley's house is priceless!    I laughed in the book at this part, but the movie made me laugh and grossed me out all at the same time.  This is definitely a book for boys to enjoy!

The character of Greg Heffley is not one that I like.  He is so self-centered and everything is everyone else's fault.  (This should sound familiar to all moms out there!)  He is a middle school boy though and he is struggling to fit in.  He is scrawny, he has an older brother that picks on him, and a younger brother that gets everything he wants.  Even so, I don't feel sorry for Greg!  He's just learning how to survive in middle school and growing up.  

The pictures look like they are stick figures made by a middle school boy.  As I read, I could imagine that a middle schooler wrote this book and drew the pictures.  They are perfect and help make the story even funnier.  I noticed that I laughed the most when I read the story and saw the pictures associated with the text. On page 13, Greg explains that he did not want to be in the gifted reading group, but he's glad he didn't end up in the Easy group because the kids in that group didn't even know how to hold the book.  So, the books drawn on this page are, Einstein as a Child and Bink Says Boo.  Guess which book was the Easy book.  Another example is page 90.  You see a picture of a barbell that Greg has made to help him get into shape so he isn't picked on during the wrestling unit in PE.  Of course, he invites his sweet friend, Rowley, to work out with him.  (The barbell is made of a brookmstick and two jugs filled with sand.)  This sentence captures the essence of Greg perfectly, "I made Rowley use the bench press first, mostly because I wanted to see if the broomstick was going to hold up."  

If you have a child who does not want to pick up a book, this is a good one to get him or her interested in reading.  My sons and students in school breeze through these books and enjoy them.  They can't wait to get their hands on the next one.

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