It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrusted into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary. American author/cartoonist Jeff Kinney recalls the growing pains of school life in his best-selling novel “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” through the eyes of main protagonist Greg Heffley, who epitomizes the challenges of being a kid.
The main character, 12 year-old Greg Heffley, whose main goal to gain fame and recognition, as he thinks it is necessary if he wants to survive through middle school. He has a lot of annoying family members including his older brother Rodrick who has his own trashy band called the ‘Loded Diper’, and always finds a way to tick off his brother. Greg also has a baby brother by the name of Manny, who is a troublemaker and always gets away with everything as it is blamed on Greg. Greg’s parents are pretty old fashioned and believe that kids should always be outside and not playing video games. They are quite strict and are pretty quick to place the blame on poor Greg for everything. Joining Greg on his mischiefs and goofs is his best friend Rowley, who Greg is afraid that he will have a hard time fitting in middle school because of his immaturity. It’s a little hard to give a storyline for this book, as there is a bunch of little stories happening at the same time in this novel. At the beginning of the book, his mom goes and buys him a diary in which he writes in. So this book is actually his diary. And most of the plot is about his struggles growing up and adventures in middle school such as Halloween, joining the school safety patrol, acting in the school play.
Depicted in text and comic-strip format, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a great choice for reluctant readers. The characters are well-written and funny, Greg has a clear voice, and this book shows boys and girls alike that keeping a diary – or a journal, whatever you choose to call it – is a good thing. Writing, even to a slacker kid like Greg, can be something fun to do. The book resembles a diary on the inside and out, with lined pages, handwriting font, and hand-drawn pictures that look like Greg had drawn them filling the book. Most of the book is written in present tense, but Greg does go back and explain many things from his childhood to inform the reader a little more.
In my opinion as an avid reader, Diary of a Wimpy is perfect if you want to reminisce about the good old days growing up. The characters are believable, along with their actions and reactions. The book as a whole is very real in a sense that it is completely credible and very well could happen, or has happened. At the end of the book, Greg learned two important life lessons: friendship is more important than being famous, and to always have self-confidence as Greg himself said: “The best person I know is myself”. The Wimpy Kid series is one of the most popular middle-grade series out today, with twelve books currently in print and a thirteenth book planned. So if you want to turn back in time and experience what it felt like being a 12 year-old kid again, I recommend this book highly.
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