Kinney, J. (2008). Diary of a Wimpy Kid : Rodrick Rules. New York: Amulet Books.
LS5360: NY Times Bestseller
Honestly, with all the drawings, I wonder if this should be categorized as a very long picture book! Definitely busts the average 32 pages, though, so we’ll stick with it being a chapter book. It has much of what abounds in middle school – elaborate plans to avoid chores and cheat on tests, a wild party, and lots of sibling rivalry – and as a parent, I appreciate that, also like most middle school misbehaviors, the kids are caught and punished. I will admit that I laughed at some of the drawings, and I definitely see the appeal to my son when he was younger (and even now, though he’d be horrified to know I wrote that). The challenge. . . literary qualities?? Well, the journal format is certainly creative and interesting, and it really serves to carry the book forward. For readers who aren’t as strong, the drawings are probably a welcome break. Or, in the case of my son, for readers who just aren’t that “in” to reading, it gets him opening a book that’s almost always better than not. And I suppose the genre – realistic fiction – also serves the story well to get readers to relate or at least experience something wider than themselves.