J.L. Campbell's Reviews > Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
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's review
Apr 30, 2012

really liked it

STORYLINE: Greg Heffley goes from thinking about being good for the holidays to worrying that he’s set off down the road to a life of crime. Through a series of capers-gone-wrong, Greg is sure he’s being hunted by the police and will be sent to jail. His ordeal doesn’t materialize as a blizzard blows through town and his family is snowbound leading up to the holidays.

Greg is a resourceful kid, who’s way too old for his age. According to my ten-year-old son, Greg’s brother Rodrick is lazy, loud and sloppy. Baby brother Manny he describes as small, short and awful. He says the Dad is ‘just there’ and says the mother is frequently seen, but not exactly in everything. These are accurate descriptions.

I liked the themes the writer spoke to in this book in a way that wasn’t overwhelming. Greg talked about bullies, the fact that a life of crime doesn’t pay and somewhere in there I got the message of how horrid his little brother is because he’s allowed to be that way. You know the usual family situation where the youngest gets to run roughshod over everybody else?

I could have lived without the times when the story material was unbelievable, like when the mother sends Greg down to check the fusebox when he finds out theirs is the only house on the block without electricity. There is no way I’d send my child into a wet basement to see what’s going on with the electricity. I also found it unbelievable that the baby cut the power off in every room in the house apart from his own. My son didn’t buy it either. Okay, so this is kid stuff and anything can happen, but still…kids messing around with fuse boxes. I don’t think so.

OVERALL COMMENTS: It took me less than two hours to read Cabin Fever, which is always a plus in my book. The format is kid friendly, which means my reluctant reader finished it in that time frame too. We’ve only read two books in the series so far and we’re looking forward to reading the rest. It’s a plus when a book for children carries positive messages in a way that isn’t preachy.

Some bits I found especially funny:

The water was freezing cold and the only towel in the bathroom was the one Mom used yesterday. So I had to dry myself with some gauze I found in the cabinet under the sink.

…And Rodrick is spoiling the food we have left. He drinks milk straight from the carton, so there’s no way I’m gonna touch that.

Greg—the substitute parent—when his brother won’t eat what he prepares unless it’s done just right: See this is the kind of nonsense I’m dealing with right now. I’ve seen a lot of movies where a kid my age finds out he’s got magical powers and then gets invited to go away to some special school. Well, if I’ve got an invitation coming, now would be the PERFECT time to get it.

Can you tell I enjoy Greg’s attitude and voice?


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