I have known about Diary of a Wimpy Kid long before I ever picked up the book. It replaced Harry Potter as the book to get kids to read. My own kids love them. Even my youngest who can't focus to read tore through the series. Kinney seemed to find a magic formula when writing this book. Maybe a magic formula that is only understood by kids. I didn't find this book all that great.
I will start off with what I did appreciate about the book. There were a lot more words than I had thought. I had thought it was more of a graphic novel, which my kids love, and less word narrative. Instead, I would describe it as word narrative that uses pictures to be less daunting. The font of the book is very pleasing to children with more attention issues. The plot is extremely relevant.
That being said Greg, the main sixth grader, is an extremely unpleasant character. Yes, he is trying to fit into a new middle school but the kid is mean to his own friends. There is more grown in the side characters than in the main character. Then at the end of the book when he should be taking some responsibility he doesn't. He makes one nice gesture, is not all that gracious about even making that gesture, and then blames his friend for being gone so long - when he was a jerk to him.
It isn't a bad book. I do not regret letting my children read them. I do not think it taught anything bad. It was just unpleasant reading it for myself.
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