Thursday, January 24, 2008
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Kinney, Jeff. 2007. THE DIARY OF A WIMPY KID. New York: Abrams. ISBN 0810993139 [Suggested Grade Levels 4-8]
This book began on the Internet as a popular Web comic and transitions effectively to the print medium here. The combination of journal-like “handwriting” and black and white comic sketches create an intimacy and informality that are sure to appeal to young readers. And our protagonist, Greg Heffley, has a hilarious and authentic perspective on life in middle school. Beginning with September, he chronicles the school year month by month with deadpan wit and oblivious self-interest. He is brutally honest about himself, his family and friends, and others—and still manages to be endearing and engaging. The author has a knack for the vernacular of young people and real insight into the ambivalence of the ‘tween years. This is the beginning of what is sure to be a popular series.
Readers may want to create their own “diaries” or journals using both words and drawings either in print or on their own blogs or Web sites.
Gather other examples of books that blend words and images (see list below). Kids can compare the boy’s perspective on middle school with the girl’s perspective in Jennifer Holm’s MIDDLE SCHOOL IS WORSE THAN MEATLOAF.
Kids may also enjoy digging into the Web-roots of the “Wimpy Kid” comic at:
Other books that blend drawings and text:
Holm, Jennifer. MIDDLE SCHOOL IS WORSE THAN MEATLOAF. ISBN 0689852819
Lin, Grace. THE YEAR OF THE DOG. ISBN 031606002X
Moss, Marissa. AMELIA’S SCHOOL SURVIVAL GUIDE. ISBN 141690915X
Schrag, Ariel. STUCK IN THE MIDDLE. ISBN 0670062219
By Sylvia M. Vardell