If you work with middle grade kids, be sure to check out DIARY OF A WIMPY KID.
Greg Heffley is a 6th-grade weakling trying to make his mark in the middle school world. His family includes a mom, a dad, a heavy metal big brother, and a whiny, tattling little brother. His best friend is Rowley, another odd 6th-grader with overprotective parents and the world-class ability to annoy.
Greg is always a victim of the big, mean bullies in the school. He constantly seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In an attempt to be "cool" he experiments with the idea of weightlifting, creating his own haunted house, running for class treasurer, and building a snowman big enough to be considered for the Guiness Book of World Records. However, the only mild success he accomplishes is as a safety guard whose job is to walk the kindergarten kids home at lunchtime.
At least with that job he gets free hot chocolate and misses twenty minutes of math class.
Readers will be able to relate to Greg's typical teenage problems. His parents ground him from his video games, his older brother picks on him, his little brother gets him in trouble, and the girls in his school think he is a waste of their time. He'd like to pretend he's just a mediocre student when he is really one of the "uncool" gifted kids. The odds are just stacked against him.
Kinney bills his books as "a novel in cartoons," which is sure to be a popular feature with middle grade readers, especially those of the reluctant variety. The clever illustrations were a fantastic way to play up the already great humor in the book.
Once again, if you have anything at all to do with middle graders, get this book in their hands ASAP.
Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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