Top critical review
A Big Disappointment This Time
Reviewed in the United States on November 3, 2018
My kids were looking forward to this book. I always read these books first, though. Though the content of the Wimpy books walks the line of kids' behavior and innocent silliness sometimes, we talk about it together. My kids are upper elementary, so Third Wheel didn't make the cut either. But this particular story troubled me more, so it won't be in the hands of my kids this round either. Captions that say, "In your butt"; peeing or pooping in public with other kids watching; getting into a grandparent's house without permission while she's away for winter to eat her snacks, turn on a furnace, and watch her TV (who pays the bill?); to throw a snowball inside a school bus toward the driver; to be bullied and terrorized; to set up turf wars, not just for snowball fun but with real fear of others in other parts of a neighborhood (or socio level); mom having a private talk with him about boys' normal fantasies when she catches them jumping around together in their underwear; packing yellow snow or dog feces to throw on kids for fun; stereotypes of boys being horrible and utterly stupid in school while girls are perfect... all of it bugged me this time. 98% just not funny. The only thing I found truly sweet was when he forgot to dress in a cultural costume for a social studies country report, and chose to raid the lost and found closet to create something to pass, only to have people from the actual country present for the presentation. Sweet and innocent hilarity and embarrassment there. Oh, loved the girls' driveway clearing business too. Come on, Jeff. Kids, teachers, and parents need you more. Do better.