Monday, June 16, 2008


Diary of a Wimpy Kid

by Jeff Kinney.

This first of three (so far) is an interesting blend of diary-style book and graphic novel, much in the style of the Amelia books by Marissa Moss, with handwriting for a font, and little comics illustrating it throughout.

It is essentially the journal of a middle-school kid who is not at the bottom of the food chain, but definitely not at the top. He isn't exactly admirable, letting his friend get in trouble for things he's done, for example, but isn't a total jerk, either. He's just a kid. Self-interested, somewhat obnoxious, occasionally kind, trying to find his way through school without being eaten alive.

My favourite thing here is how the illustrations complement the text by showing a bit more truth or detail, or by adding what he wishes had happened or been said. They are a fun added layer, something that would have to be embodied in the text of a more conventional book.

I see this as a great find for a reluctant reader, for it is quick, short, funny, and eminently relatable. The fact that there are two more to devour once you've read it only mkaes it that much better as a starting place into reading for a kid who'd rather not.

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