Haley Barbour's Reviews > Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
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Title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Author: Jeff Kinney
Genre: Comedy/Humor/ Comic book/ Graphic novel
Theme(s): Friendship/ Family Life/ Loyalty
Opening line/sentence: Tuesday: First of all, let me get something straight. This is a JOURNAL, not a diary.
Brief Book Summary: Greg records his experiences of middle school in his journal. This is a series so every book focuses on a different aspect of Greg’s life. In this specific book Greg tries to follow his friends new found popularity and use it to his own advantage.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1:
Matt Oldenburg (The ALAN Review, Spring/Summer 2007 (Vol. 34, No. 3))
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is immediately described as a novel in cartoons, and that it is. Jeff Kinney transforms his popular web comic of the same name, into a great young adult novel. Greg Heffley, the wimpy kid, begins by telling us that by no means is what we are about to read a diary; it is a journal. He gives us insight into an entire year of his life including everything from wrestling class to trick or treating with his little brother, and of course hilarity ensues. This book is definitely meant to tickle the funny bones inside all of us. Themes include friendship, loyalty, and family, which are all relevant young adult topics. This book is great because it takes these themes and gives them a twist of humor that any young reader is sure to enjoy.
Professional Recommendation/Review #2:
April Spisak (The Bulletin of the Center for Children s Books, June 2007 (Vol. 60, No. 10))
Seventh grade is lousy enough, but when you are at the bottom of the popularity pecking order, your best (and only) friend embarrasses you, and no one else seems to recognize you as the brilliant leader you are, then middle school is downright unbearable. Luckily, Greg has a journal into which he can pour his frustrations, disappointments, and secret desires. In short entries, many of which read as independent vignettes, Greg describes the sometimes humorous, sometimes awful events of his life with an unflinching eye: his mostly failed endeavors are highlighted along with his rare accomplishments. The small black-and-white line drawings that accompany many of the entries are simple, as if indeed drawn by a budding artist, but not at all simplistic, as they interact with the text by sometimes contradicting Greg s account and often highlighting particularly cringe-worthy elements that would be less remarkable without the comic-style visuals. Inconsiderate, sullen, and greedy Greg is unfortunately not a very likable kid, but he s still funny and creative, and the frequent moments of sardonic wit add a richness and depth to his accounts. Kinney s well-designed and popular web comic (created in 2004) easily translates into illustrated novel format: devoted fans will be thrilled to have a print collection, while new readers can simply enjoy this as a stand-alone novel or they can head online to find out what happens next to Greg and the peculiar mix of characters who surround him.
Response to Two Professional Reviews: After reading this book the first thing that stood out to me was the humor in it. I think that both of these reviews do a great job of pointing out the humor that the author adds to the graphic novel.
Evaluation of Literary Elements: Before doing this reading log I had never looked at a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book and I wish I had! I thought that it was a very fun and entertaining read and I think it is relatable to students who may be reading it. I also love the fact that the main character is a male because I normally associate diary’s and journals with females so this book does a good job of challenging the norms.
Consideration of Instructional Application: As an activity with this book I would have my students document their own school activities in a Journal. I would also have them add illustrations like this book includes. I think after reading this book, the writing may be more fun for students who do not normally enjoy writing.


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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 22, 2016 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Alison (new)

Alison I agree with your thought that it is good that this book challenges the norms that have been set in place! I have always wanted to read this book and never have I think the humor would make it a fun read and assignment for a class. It seems as thought it is a relatable book!

message 2: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Martelon Hi Haley!
I remember my brother reading these books when he was younger, He use to love them because of their humor and how entertaining they were. I agree with you that it is awesome that this book has the main character as a male and he keeps a diary. It is something that is usually not seen or heard of so I think that this gives male readers encouragement to keep a diary or journal if they want to. I love your lesson idea also I think that this would be very enjoyable for the students in your classroom. It will definitely be more fun for those students who do not like writing. You could also tweek this lesson for younger grades too and use this book as a read aloud if majority of your class cannot read on their own now. It is a great lesson! Good job!

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