Greg is back for another pre-teen adventure in Jeff Kinney’s newest instalment in the ‘Wimpy Kid’ series. This time, his overprotective and somewhat eccentric mum has had enough of modern technology allowing constant communication and is on a mission to go back to how it was in the ‘old days’, where people had to talk to each other face-to-face and where the community spirit was at the heart of people’s lives. With his introverted and self-conscious character, Greg is not looking forward to this. The situation is compounded when his Grandpa comes to stay and reiterates how good things were in the past… until he discovers online dating.
The latest diary includes exploits involving older brother Rodrick’s first job at an ice cream parlour, Mum’s unique approach to potty training youngest brother Manny, an adventure with Grandpa which begins with a tiny action that Greg tries to cover up and quickly escalates and an unfortunate situation with Rowley’s father. There is also the dreaded residential trip to Hardscrabble Farms. Needless to say, Greg is not looking forward to the trip and has decided that under no circumstances will he attend.
The book is cleverly written to encompass a range of interlinking stories and events, with the most heart-warming twist coming right at the end of the story. Greg is as easy as ever to relate to – an awkward, gawky but wonderfully innocent central character who is delightfully honest with his opinions (including his obsession with baby wipes). He makes mistakes just like any other child of his age might do and tries to rectify them in the quickest, though not necessarily best, way.
In the classroom the book would be ideal to use during an English recounts unit focusing on diary writing. I would also use it with my class in the build up to a residential trip due to the discussions it would lead to.
This book is perfect for boys aged from about 8. It is written in a very child-friendly way, with simple sentences punctuated with capitalised words to add effect and essential sarcasm. The plentiful illustrations add an extra aspect of fun to the book and make it perfect for reluctant readers. The adventures and morals within the story are relatable to all, making the book easily accessible and funny to read. In short, it is another well-written and amusing book in the Wimpy Kid series.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney