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Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Jeff Kinney
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,435 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.

Since its launch in May 2004 on Funbrain.com, the Web version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been viewed by 20 million unique online readers. This year, it is averaging 70,000 readers a day.

Books In This Series (9 Books)
Complete Series


  • Editorial Reviews

    Amazon.com Review

    Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Jeff Kinney

    Question: Given all the jobs that you have--game designer, fatherhood, Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie work, etc.,--do you have a certain time that you set aside to write?

    Kinney: I still treat writing like a hobby, working mostly at night and sometimes on weekends. But when a deadline looms my hobby time gets extended into the wee hours of the night. It's not uncommon for me to work until 4:00 a.m., and I'm usually back at work by 9:00 a.m.

    Q: Did you get to choose which character you would play in the Wimpy Kid films (Mr. Hills)? What do you enjoy most about working on the movies?

    Kinney: I never any real desire to appear in the Wimpy Kid films, but one day my wife encouraged me to be an extra in one of the crowd scenes. So I walked onto the set, ready to ask the assistant director to put me somewhere in the back. It happened that right at that moment the director was looking for someone to play the role of Mr. Hills, Holly Hills's father. What I didn't realize was that I'd be front and center in the church scene, and in the new movie, I'm even more prominent. I'm incredibly self-conscious so appearing on-camera was a real stretch for me.

    Q: In 2009 Time magazine named you as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World--what’s the first thing you did after you found out?

    Kinney: I thought it was a practical joke, so I tried to track down the source of the joke. I eventually reached a voicemail of a reporter who said they worked for Time, and at that point I thought it was just a well-planned practical joke. It took me a while to realize it was for real. It was a big honor, but I don't take it very seriously. I'm the fourth most influential person in my own house.

    Q: Would you ever consider making Wimpy Kid into a newspaper comic strip or creating another one? Do you have any favorite comic strips that you currently read?

    Kinney: I've considered it. I set out to become a newspaper cartoonist but failed to break in. But I like the freedom books give me, so it would be tough to cram my ideas into three or four panels.

    Q: What is (or could be) you motto in life?

    Kinney: I was inspired to write by a Benjamin Franklin quote: "Well done is better than well said." But I always encourage kids to "create something great," because the tools to create something original and find an audience are available to them like never before.

    Q: What was your favorite year in school, and why?

    Kinney: Fifth grade was my favorite year. I had a great teacher, Mrs. Norton, who encouraged me to be funny and challenged me to be a better artist and joke-teller than I was. I liked it that she didn't coddle me.

    Q: Kids now ask for a book that is “like Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” and with this series you’ve created a whole new subset of books for young readers--how does it feel to be the person behind such massive book enjoyment, reaching reluctant readers, and spawning any number of titles that aspire to be “the next Wimpy Kid?”

    Kinney: I'm happy that kids are reading. I think graphical books reach kids who might otherwise see books as work. Books should be fun!

    From Publishers Weekly

    Starred Review. Kinney's popular Web comic, which began in 2004, makes its way to print as a laugh-out-loud "novel in cartoons," adapted from the series. Middle school student Greg Heffley takes readers through an academic year's worth of drama. Greg's mother forces him to keep a diary ("I know what it says on the cover, but when Mom went out to buy this thing I specifically told her to get one that didn't say 'diary' on it"), and in it he loosely recounts each day's events, interspersed with his comic illustrations. Kinney has a gift for believable preteen dialogue and narration (e.g., "Don't expect me to be all 'Dear Diary' this and 'Dear Diary' that"), and the illustrations serve as a hilarious counterpoint to Greg's often deadpan voice. The hero's utter obliviousness to his friends and family becomes a running joke. For instance, on Halloween, Greg and his best friend, Rowley, take refuge from some high school boys at Greg's grandmother's house; they taunt the bullies, who then T.P. her house. Greg's journal entry reads, "I do feel a little bad, because it looked like it was gonna take a long time to clean up. But on the bright side, Gramma is retired, so she probably didn't have anything planned for today anyway." Kinney ably skewers familiar aspects of junior high life, from dealing with the mysteries of what makes someone popular to the trauma of a "wrestling unit" in gym class. His print debut should keep readers in stitches, eagerly anticipating Greg's further adventures. Ages 8-13. (Apr.)
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 6873 KB
    • Print Length: 224 pages
    • Publisher: Amulet Books; 1 edition (October 30, 2012)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B005CRQ4OW
    • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,103 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    379 of 402 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Fun for older kids and adults... August 14, 2010
    A Kid's Review
    Format:Paperback
    As a (more mature) 13 year old, I thought this book was genuinely funny. However, unlike younger kids, I've already established what is right and wrong. Cheating, lying, manipulating, and acting dumb "just to get less work" is all in this book, and when my younger eight year old brother reads this, I get paranoid of what exactly he's picking up. He doesn't seem to want to go to a gifted program at school, thinks less of school, and I think it is because of this book! To older audiences, Greg is a very interesting character (which is the prevelant reason why the series is so popular) but he is one of the most irresponsible fictional characters I have come across in a long time. And since the story is told from HIS viewpoint, it even makes it worse! His mind thinks of the all the previously mentioned things to be perfectly fine. I would absoluetly not recommend this book to...more vulnerble kids.

    On the plus side, the novel IS truely funny, with its charming digital drawings and witty main character- who keeps the story lively (ignoring his bad influence) throughout the entire book.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Diary of a Wimpy Kid August 5, 2008
    Format:Hardcover
    If there was an "IT" book of 2008 in the school where I teach 5th grade, forget about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; it had to be Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Book orders could not send copies fast enough. Book stores could not restock their shelves quickly enough. Everywhere I turned I was met by a student with his or her nose buried in its pages. So naturally, I had to see what all the fuss was about.

    Greg Heffley is your everyday, run-of-the-mill, middle school "wimp". Sure, someday he's going to amount to something big, but for now, he's "stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons." Greg's journal, not "diary", but "journal", takes us through the hilarious events that make up Greg's days in his first year of middle school. Lucky for us, whether it's avoiding his older brother Rodrick, or abusing his best friend Rowley, Greg's days are never short on laughs.

    I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard when reading a book. There are laughs on every page, literally. Greg's mudslinging student council posters, Greg and Rowley's failed attempt at a haunted house, the students' wrestling unit in PE ("muscles are gross"), and Christmas time at the Heffley home. Situations like these that Greg finds himself in are comical enough, but it's his voice and commentary that sets this book apart. Jeff Kinney has cleverly captured the inner workings of a middle school student, and because of this book's popularity, it's obvious that students connect with Greg.

    However, that's also what scares me about this book. I'm afraid that Kinney is too smart for his own good and without realizing it, has created a lovable character that advocates laziness and using your best friend for his family's money and his video games.
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    75 of 90 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious Even for Adults December 8, 2007
    Format:Hardcover
    I learned of this book in my University of Maryland alumni magazine and I'm very glad I did. The author, Jeff Kinney, wrote a popular comic strip called "Igdoof" in the early 90's for the Maryland student newspaper, the Diamondback. His comic alone made me look forward to each new issue of the paper and I continued to seek it out even after I graduated to read Kinney's comic.

    From what I understand, he fought to get the strip syndicated after he graduated, but it never happened- presumably because his somewhat simplistic and crude artistic style is nothing like what you see in the daily comics sections. I had often wondered what became of Kinney, whose considerable talent should not be going to waste, so I was happy to pick this book up once I discovered it.

    The book, likely written for kids at or above a fifth or sixth grade reading level, was better reading for a 37 year old than I could have possibly imagined. Kinney picks up right where he left off with the Igdoof strip with the very same humor and art that made me enjoy it so much. The book was laugh-out-loud funny throughout and I would recommend it to not only kids, but anyone who can appreciate humor books. I wish Jeff all the success in the world and look forward to reading more of his works-- he has really found his calling.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    174 of 216 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Hardcover
    The world has not yet invented a method of finding the best webcomics currently available on the Internet for kids. So basically, for every twenty low-quality/poorly thought out amalgamations of crap, you get one bright shining star. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," the webcomic, was one such star. The only conclusion I can really draw at this point is that somebody at Abrams is a friggin' genius for plucking the comic up and making it into a book. Now normally I don't like to separate titles into "girl books" and "boy books", but Jeff Kinney has written such a marvelous "boy book" that for every parent that walks in the door of my library I'm going to be cramming this title into their arms. Heck, I'll slip it into their purses if I have to. This book is going to reach its intended audience whether I have to wrestle skeptical parents to the floor with it clamped firmly in my teeth. Want to transfer your Captain Underpants lovers from graphic novels to fiction? This book won't do that. It's just something that every single person will get a kick out of.

    First things first. Boys do not have diaries. Girls have diaries. Let's get that straight cause things could get messy if we don't. Basically, what we have here are the gathered thoughts and memories of Greg Haffley. Greg's got a pretty average life, all things considered. His older brother is a jerk, his younger brother annoying, his best friend a doofus, and his parents perfect dweebs. To top it all off, Greg's been thrown into his first year of middle school and things are really weird. Suddenly friendships are shifting and Greg's not sure who he wants to be. Add in some haunted houses, wrestling, downhill games involving bodily injury, forbidden cheese, and basic family fears and you've got yourself one heckuva debut.
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    More About the Author

    Jeff Kinney is an online game developer and designer, and a #1 New York Times bestselling author. In 2009, Jeff was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. He spent his childhood in the Washington, D.C., area and moved to New England in 1995. Jeff lives in southern Massachusetts with his wife and their two sons.

    Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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    #86 Overall (See top 100 authors)
    #85 in Books
    #85 in Books

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