I must admit that after the third book of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series The Last Straw, I’ve fallen behind in reading about the adventures of Greg Heffley. But even though most of the humor is juvenile, and its target market is actually 8-12 year olds, this series is actually one of my guilty pleasures. I got this one as a Christmas gift from my officemate and finished it in one sitting. I was grinning from the start to finish.
In Jeff Kinney’s third book, Greg Heffley chronicles his eventful or uneventful summer break (whichever way you choose to see it) wherein his mother nags him into engaging into more outdoor summer activities — attempts that he resists with all his might with the use of silly excuses that no self respecting adult would fall for. Add to this his shenanigans with his best friend Rowley in which he tries to manipulate Rowley into doing the things he doesn’t want to do, his feeble attempts to get close to Heather Hills, the hot teenage lifeguard at the public pool, his uphill battle with pet ownership, and his hilarious encounters with hairy adult men in public showers.
I must say that Greg is one entertaining character, and this is the reason I love the Wimpy Kid books. He hatches up all sorts of stupid plans (which he believes will actually work) and all this actually revolves around getting out of doing actual work, getting rich quick or rubbing elbows with the in crowd. I like that Greg is a reflection a normal childhood and that each reader is able to connect with him on a different level. Even the sad parts of his life are written by the author tongue in cheek (kudos). It’s actually quite interesting to see how all of Greg’s plans are so transparent and he is so confident to actually put them into action.
Greg is brash and impulsive but he is like any normal person. He wants to roll in cash without having to do actual work. He thinks he is God’s gift to the universe (We all think this sometimes). He has siblings that he loves but drive him crazy. He has a best friend that is gullible to a certain degree, who oftentimes land on top despite Greg planning things to go otherwise. He wants to conquer the world but when things don’t go his way, he does not sulk. Rather, he hatches a new plan. We could take a few pages out of this kid’s book, frankly speaking.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a great read for kids because its funny, silly, sometimes disgusting — but at the end of the day, lessons are learned somewhat. It teaches kids the value of reaping what you sow, as Greg’s not so well meaning ideas often land him in more trouble while his moments of selflessness earn him praise. For adults, its just fun to channel one’s inner child and view the world in the eyes of a kid, whose only worry is how to get the latest video game, or con one’s parents into going to the amusement park to try the coolest ride. The illustrations further contribute to the comic feel of the books and this is just awesome. This is the type of book that one can read over and over again without growing tired of it. I just love it.