What You Need to Know:|
• Calling all reluctant readers - Diary of a Wimpy Kid is the book for you.
• This book is the first in the series which actually started online on funbrain.com.
• A movie version of the book was released in 2010.
• The diary format and abundance of illustrations make Diary of a Wimpy Kid a very quick read.
• Although younger kids may be capable of reading this book, it is about middle school and the problems typically
faced by kids in that age group: bullying, popularity, and friendship.
• This book is good for both boys and girls, but is especially appealing to boys.
Let’s get things straight...this book is not about compassion, values, character or empathy. Strip all that away and you’re left with underachiever Greg Heffley. He’s a self-centered, slacker (my daughter came up with that one!) who has a tendency to stretch the truth. He’s always got an ulterior motive and his only loyalty is to himself. Not that he seems to notice, though. He’s too busy dealing with middle school and all of the normal preteen angst that goes along with it. Jeff Kinney expertly captures the negative dynamics so often experienced at that age. Friendships change, popularity is everything, bullies start fights, siblings are annoying, parents know nothing and video games rule.
While Greg may be a realistic character, he doesn’t have too many redeeming qualities. He terrorizes little kids and lets his friend, Rowley, take the blame. He calls people nerds and jerks, and wants to put a tack on a teacher’s chair. He uses people and makes fun of them. He tells his story using simple text and basic cartoons. So why do so many kids love this book? Here are some possibilities: Greg can be pretty funny. Kids relate to him. The story doesn’t require much thought. There are jokes about boogers, farts, poop and stinky cheese. Or, maybe it’s just because Greg says and does the outrageous things that most kids think about, but could never really do themselves. Like fashion that’s so out, it’s back in, Greg is so bad, that he can be good!
2007, 224 pages
Books for Boys, Bullying, Family Life, Friendship, Humor, Growing Up, School, Siblings
• Are you like Greg? In what ways are you like him? In what ways are you different?
• Do you know anyone like Greg?
• Would you want to be friends with Greg? Why or why not?
• Is Greg a good friend? What does he do that makes him a good or bad friend?
• What are some qualities of a good friend?
• Would you rather people’s expectations of you be high or low? Why?
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