In 2007, the first volume in a series of children’s books was published. It exploded onto the elementary school scene and got America’s school children reading again. As new books appeared in subsequent years, children snapped them up and devoured them. To them, it was the literary event of the year.
No, this book series was not Harry Potter (published 1997-2007). This new series followed the misadventures of lazy unprincipled undisciplined middle school miscreant Greg Heffley. And school children everywhere ate them up. While the buzz over these books eventually died down, they are every bit as good as when they were first released, and each new addition to the series remains hilarious. If your child is a reluctant reader and/or 8 - 10 years old, definitely get him or her started on the first book! (While the protagonist is a boy, my children are both girls. In my experience with my own and other children, both genders love these books.)
As the title “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” implies, the books are written from Greg’s point of view. Hand drawn pictures abound on every page. The text is so clever that children, adolescents, and adults can all appreciate it. When a new book is released, there is a gentle fight at our house over who gets to read it first. There is one illustration in the first book that was so hilarious that I laughed till I cried. (I won’t spoil it for you with details.) My younger daughter still talks about how Greg’s idiot older brother misspelled the family dog’s name on his personalized dog dish: Sweaty.
Just like with Harry Potter, I recommend that you read the books in order, although each book can certainly stand alone. As I write in early 2019, here are the books currently in the series:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2007) Rodrick Rules (2008) The Last Straw (2009) Dog Days (2009) The Ugly Truth (2010) Cabin Fever (2011) The Third Wheel (2012) Hard Luck (2013) The Long Haul (2014) Old School (2015) Double Down (2016) The Getaway (2017) The Meltdown (2018)
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to reread the books. I can always use a good laugh!