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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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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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.
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.Read more ›