What more can be said about Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series? It has enjoyed enormous popularity, and nearly every day I have children, girls and boys, asking me for the Wimpy Kid books, happy to get their hands on whatever I have on the shelf. I have encountered parents that despise the books and parents that are thrilled their child is reading anything at all. It’s a similar reaction I get to the Captain Underpants series, books which I personally think are kind of clever, in a very immature kind of way. For both series, I’m staunchly on the side of “whatever gets them excited about reading”, and Wimpy Kid has certainly accomplished that task.
The newest, and possibly penultimate, volume in the series, The Ugly Truth has a few problems, but a few really good, laugh-out-loud laughs as well. One of the main problems is there’s too much Greg Heffley, which seems weird because it’s his diary, but there you go. Greg is currently out one best friend, as he hasn’t patched things up with former BFF Rowley (he’s waiting for Rowley to “come crawling back”) just yet, and can’t decide upon a suitable replacement. It also seems like there’s less of Greg’s family, especially his brother Rodrick. So it’s a lot of Greg. Luckily, Greg has a lot to face this year in school, what with boy/girl parties, health class that required a permission slip, Uncle Gary’s wedding (again) and the threat of having “the talk” with his 95-year-old Gammie. There was plenty of confusion, pranks, pratfalls and downright silliness to keep me entertained for the hour. If there is to be another volume, or three, or four, I say, let them come. Every child who comes into the library asking for Wimpy Kid is another child I can try and talk into Alvin Ho as well, and that is a good thing. J