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Diarrhoea Wimpy Kid
Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Jeff Kinney
Member Name: broxi3781
Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Jeff Kinney
Date: 15/11/12, updated on 03/11/13 (45 review reads)
Advantages: Has made reading my sons favourite thing at the moment.
Disadvantages: Some may view this as too easy.
We recently were given a few sample copies of Puffin Post and I told my son to read the magazine and choose a book he liked - which I would order from Amazon. He read a number of book summaries and descriptions before coming back and saying he would like this book.
My son went through a brief stage with Young Adult books before turning to graphic novels - and it has been quite difficult to interest him reading paperback books since he started the graphic novel stage. of course he will read whatever he has too as school work, but most of all - I want my son to read for pleasure and there just is not any way to force a child to read for pleasure - all you can do is try to make reading as fun as possible. I assumed he chose this book because it does have a large number of cartoon like illustrations. These are terribly crude and all black and white, but he does like them.
The main character is Greg Heffley, a very thin small child just starting middle school. I had to look this up and it turns out this should make Greg age 11. Greg is nonathletic, smart but lazy and less than socially adept. His best friend by default is Rowley. Greg isn't really popular enough to hang out with any of the cool kids - so he is friends with Rowley basically because his options are to take Rowley as friend or have none. Rowley is even more socially awkward than Greg - and not nearly as bright but he is a loyal friend - something Greg never really appreciates. Greg has an older brother Roderick, who is popular, in a band and not at all nice to his younger brother. But instead of treating his younger brother Manny differently, Greg is unkind to his younger brother as well - showing he really isn't any better than the big brother he can not get along with.
Overall, I didn't particularly like Greg, at least not until the end of the book when he appears to have learned a lesson about friendship. I especially disliked that he was willing to let his friend take the blame for something he did - and the fact that he was quite unkind at times to the only person who really stuck by him, but it isn't my opinion that counts with ths book. On the plus side, when I read this to my son, I could point out how the other characters felt, and that Greg should have had a bit more consideration of others. Perhaps he wouldn't be so lonely and excluded if he were a bit nicer to people - and at the end he appears to have learned something.
This is a children's book and my son absolutely loved it. He was literally laughing out loud as he read it, and then asked me to read it to him at story time after had had just finished it. He wanted to share the jokes with me. I 'm afraid my sense of humour is lacking. Someone going to the Dr for a new butt because the old one has a crack in it isn't really hilarious to me, but seeing how much fun my son was having I could join in easily enough. For all my complaints about this book, this does appeal to children, most boys are going to relate to some aspects of the book and most off all - it makes boys want to read. There are plenty of jokes and enough situations that are close enough to real life to make them funny. Much of this is gross out jokes, but if that keeps my son laughing - I don't mind.
I buy my children books quite often, but shortly after reading the first book - my son asked for extra jobs to earn enough money to but book 2. Now don't get me wrong he does enjoy books - but he usually says - "Why should I spend my money on books - if I just wait you'll buy them anyway". This is basically true - but he enjoyed this book enough that he didn't want to wait. He had £1.50 and I offered to cough up the extra £1 for a used copy. And of course when my voucher came in and it was time to pick another book he chose book 3. Book 3 isn't even here yet and he is saving for book 4, but I will pay 1/2 for him. I feel that a child wanting to spend their own pocket money on a book is about as high a praise as an author can get.
This book is very easy to read. I would put it on the same level as Horrid Henry, but while he outgrew Horrid Henry some time ago, this still captures his interest and I feel this will appeal to an older audience than Horrid Henry. It is difficult for me to place age levels on a book as every child reaches reading milestones at different ages, but at age 7, this book gives my son no problems at all. In fact it is far to easy to present any challenge - but sometimes that can be a good thing. Of course children do need to read more difficult books and stretch their ability - but some times it is nice to just relax and coast for awhile. This book just makes reading fun for him. It has him waiting on the postman with more anticipation than he shows for a new video game and has made reading one of his favourite activities again. He says this book should get more than 5 stars as it one of the best ever. I can not give this anything less than 5 stars after my sons reaction.
I also feel that because this book may still appeal to older children - I would guess up to age 12 or so, and is so easy to read, it might be a good choice for children learning to read a bit later - but I would note it does make a joke about the gifted and "easy" group at school which we all know means slow. It points out you know which one you are in by the books they give you. I am not sure if this could make a child feel stupid if they are in a lower reading group - and the age at which a child reads does make them smarter or slower. There are so many variables, and children come to it when they are ready if they have the right support just as every child learns to walk and talk in their own time as well.
I would recommend this for children who enjoyed but have read all the titles or outgrown Horrid Henry, or just for children who love comedy in books. I do feel this a good transition between comics and paperbacks, and I am very happy to see my son expanding his reading choices.
Before I close - I think I should explain my title. If you recall, at the beginning of this review I said I assumed by son chose this book solely on the basis of the Puffin review. After reading it - he said it was great - but where was the poop. I said I wasn't sure what he was talking about and he explained that he heard about a film of this book , but the film was called Diarrhoea Wimpy Kid. It seems he chose this book based on a misunderstanding - but a most fortunate misunderstanding. He enjoyed the book so much he wasn't too dissapointed that there really isn't any poop - but judging by the humour of this book - I would say there is a good chance at encountering some eventually as we read through all 7 books.
Update: It is almost a year since I wrote this review, and as impressed as I was by this series at the time, I am even more impressed now. It has been read again and again, and we are now counting down the days until the 8th book is released and arrives with us. It was pre-ordered months ago. This is an excellent series that gets boys reading and keeps them reading.
Summary: Teaches children that a book can be a better way to relax and unwind than the telly.
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