Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid #1 by Jeff Kinney

diary of a wimpy kid by jeff kinney

Boys don’t keep diaries—or do they?

The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to

It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust 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.

In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion.

Author/illustrator Jeff Kinney recalls the growing pains of school life and introduces a new kind of hero who epitomizes the challenges of being a kid. As Greg says in his diary, “Just don’t expect me to be all ‘Dear Diary’ this and ‘Dear Diary’ that.” Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won’t do and what he actually does are two very different things.

Description taken from Goodreads.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this book, and I’m here to set the story straight on my opinion of it. Of all the people I’ve talked to, most of them are concerned parents who aren’t sure if this book is appropriate for their kid or not.

The thing is, I really don’t know.

I think that’s a personal decision, and it’s something that a parent–knowing their child–or a librarian or a teacher or whoever, needs to make for their kids. I grew up reading these books. Even today, I read them when they come out and think they’re hilarious. While some of you might take the jokes in DIARY OF A WIMPY KID personally for whatever reason, that’s your take on it. Personally, I think these books are ridiculously funny–and the majority adults that I know think that they’re ridiculously funny as well.

I think that there are certain stand-up comedians that are amazing, but there are always people who

  1. think they’re a jerk (as a G rated term for a G rated blog)
  2. think they’re just not funny
  3. think they’re funny and don’t want to admit it because they take offense to what the comedian says
  4. both 1 and 2

There is nothing wrong with that, and Jeff Kinney’s books are no exception. They call out society one by one and pick apart the world that teens and pre-teens live in today. That’s the thing though.

This is the world they live in, and Kinney writes these stories in a way that they’re simple, easy to understand, relatable and somewhat heartfelt even at times. These books are written for middle school, and they follow Greg’s journey to high school and throughout. I started reading these books in probably fifth grade, and going through middle school and eventually high school, I always carried mental images of how a certain scene was written in a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book.

Quite honestly, I believe these books are suitable and good for reluctant readers and readers who love reading in middle school, high school and beyond. They’re quick reads, and quite enjoyable. Overall, it’s a lot more ‘appropriate’ than giving kid free rein of the internet, and there’s nothing really to be spoken of in terms of ‘inappropriate’ subject matter. Who knows? If this book gets a reluctant reader into reading, or makes life just a little more hilarious than it was before, then I’d say it’s worth reading. 4.5 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 217


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