Published: April 1st 2007, Abrams BFYR
Pages: 217 pages, paperback
Acquired: Sent for review by Puffin
Summary (from Goodreads): Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.
My review: After reading Happyface and The Raven’s Gate I found myself looking forward to reading my next illustrated novel – Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I’d been hearing a lot about this series but hadn’t ever gotten around to reading them so I thought I’d give the first installment a whirl.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a fun, simple read that will leave you feeling happy and fulfilled, with no worry that the protagonist’s heart will be broken being repair/they will remain a vampire/werewolf/other paranormal being forever with no hope of ever falling in love. No, no – none of that here. Just the trials and tribulations of a young boy trying to get through school without too many dramas – but don’t even think about calling this book a diary, it’s a journal, okay?
Greg is a loveable character from the outset of the story, where he has a rant about the fact this is NOT a diary but a manly journal that he will give out to journalists when he’s rich and famous, instead of having to conduct interviews.
One of the great things about Greg is that he’s well aware he’s a bit of a loser and, although he’s not comfortable with this position, he accepts that he’s low down on the social hierarchy. However, this year he decides that he will be a loser no more and goes on a quest to get into the yearbook as ‘class clown’, so he will be forever immortalised as a cool kid.
Unfortunately for Greg and his best friend Rowley, nothing they do seems to go to plan, which makes for hilarious writing and illustrations for us to enjoy. I think maybe my favourite mishap was the Trick or Treating escapade – but let’s not forget the horror of the Cheese Touch, which I hope will be back in the next books!
First line: ‘First of all, let me get something straight: this is a journal, not a diary.’
Read if you liked...: Happyface by Stephen Emond
Total: 15/20 (B)