Genre = 9-12, Children’s Fiction, Humour
Author = Jeff Kinney
Where to Buy =
This follows a young boy Gregg who is just about to start middle school. He is excited at first as he thinks it is all going to go according to plan. However, little does he know that school isn’t that simple especially when it comes to mouldy cheese and being a helper at school. Can Gregg figure it out?
I think the format of the book in a diary format written like someone of his age would have written it, works well to help kids relate more to the story and the main character. However, with this series there is a problem attached to it. That once kids start reading this series that they will not read anything else or only books in a similar format. This is an issue I constantly encountered as a children’s bookseller. However, I think my official opinion is if the child is struggling to read try this series to help them get into reading but have them read something else along side it so they don’t get stuck in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid cycle. I think it would have been better if the author gradually introduced a more traditional format of books into the series then I think children would feel that books are not so scary.
In terms of the actual plot of this first story there are some good bits for example to do with the mouldy cheese and I liked how that tied up the story at the end. However, the middle of the book is just a bit dull in terms of plot and not really funny or silly which is what I was expecting from what children tell me about this series.
Gregg as a character he is just so annoying at times but you do feel sorry for him as he is just trying to figure out school which is so tough. That explains I think why children gravitate towards it so much. His character brings out some situations where kids can learn things from him especially to do with friendships.
Overall, it is just okay its nothing special but maybe my idea of special is just too complicated for children but I think I understand more why they read this series. This first book shows how much of new idea this was but hopefully it gets better. I think if you are a children’s bookseller you do need to try to read them to understand where the children are coming from as they are your market. I don’t think they are great books but they help kids make that transition from picture books or chapter books with pictures to 9-12 years old books so they serve a purpose.
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