Rick Silva's Reviews > Old School

Old School by Jeff Kinney
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Jeff Kinney tackles the generation gap in the 10th installment in this series.

My son (age 8) brought this home from the school library. We'd read the first book, but are (for the moment, anyway) skipping the eight volumes in between. This wasn't a problem as this book was pretty self-contained.

The theme is the differences between generations, and it's manifested in a number of ways throughout the story. Middle schooler Greg Heffley has to deal with his mom wanting him (and the entire town) to take a break from electronic devices to connect with people the way her generation did. But at the same time, Greg's parents find themselves under the scrutiny of their own generation gap, as Greg's grandfather comes to live with them after the rent on his apartment is raised.

It all culminates in a week-long school field trip to "Hardscrabble Farm", a camp where the kids have to live without modern conveniences.

This was more enjoyable than the first book. The jokes were funnier, the situations more ridiculous and more creative, and the plot was more focused. Organizing the story around a central theme helped. I also thought that Greg was a lot more sympathetic in this story than in the first book. He legitimately tries to do the right thing much of the time, and he seems to learn a bit more along the way. The illustrations are fun, and do a nice job of enhancing the story.

There isn't really any new ground covered in terms of the generation gap issues, and there is still a lack of any decent female characters other than Greg's mother, but overall, I felt like this was a bit of a step up from the first book.
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Reading Progress

December 5, 2016 – Started Reading
December 5, 2016 – Shelved
December 9, 2016 – Finished Reading

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