Title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Author: Jeff Kinney
Publication Year: 2007
Genre: Fiction, Graphic Fiction, Children’s Fiction
Source: Purchased from Borders in Abu Dhabi Mall
From the cover:
It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.
In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion.
Last year, I taught this book to some of my higher-level ESL students in Abu Dhabi. Lots of them had seen the movie, but almost none of them had known it was a book first.
One thing that the students liked about Diary of a Wimpy Kid was the cartoons. They really helped with understanding the main ideas of the story. The girls liked the antics that Greg got up to with Rowley, though they also came to think of him as a very negative character. They didn’t like how he treated others in the story, particularly Rowley, as they were supposed to be “friends”.
I didn’t love the storyline of the book, but that’s probably because it’s a middle-grade book and I tend to find them kind of infantile. But for someone who’s actually that age, I could see it being enjoyable. But for teaching the book, particularly to students learning English, I liked the mix of a simple storyline and pictures, which can help with reading comprehension. The idioms in the story were the hardest part for my students to understand, but they would probably be fine for someone to read who’s a native speaker.
For the appropriate age level, Diary of a Wimpy Kid would be a fun read. I would recommend it for your students or your kids.