Friday, 3 August 2012

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is another massively popular series in the 9-12 fiction range. It’s presentation  is pretty unique, and makes it the perfect book for struggling readers or for younger readers within the age grouping - it’s produced in a diary format which includes a lined paper effect, a font that emulates handwriting, and is packed to the brim with the diary-writer’s sketches. This diary style means not only that the story is broken up into short, easily digestible chunks, but the sketches add both an extra level of humour and an extra twist on the story that isn’t necessarily described in the written part of the story, whilst not making the book seem childless - in fact, the images are so integral that if they were removed, much of the story would be lost.

The Wimpy Kid himself, Greg Heffley, is pretty average. He’s not a geek, but he’s not one of the cool crowd either. Essentially, he’s just trying to do his best to get through school with the smallest amount of hassle as possible - both from others, and on his own account. He does the bare amount of work to get him by, and he’ll help out in school only if there’s something in it for him. Its funny and cringe-worthy all at the same time, and thus the perfect combination.

As an adult, I found Greg just that little bit too annoying and selfish - and he's so horrible to his supposed best friend. But then, like I said, I’m an adult and not a ten-year-old boy (and even when I was a ten-year-old, I leaned toward the geek side of the school classroom). In other words, this book was not written for me, therefore my feelings on Greg’s irritatingness means not a jiffy. I have yet to meet a young customer who isn’t completely addicted to the series, and I can see why: Jeff Kinney definitely knows his audience. Gotta go and watch the movie now...

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