Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney in preparation for a program that I am doing at my library soon. Let me just say that I am not the intended audience for this series. On the other hand, if you know a boy in grades 4-8, he's probably read at least one of these books. They're massively popular with kids, but don't have the crossover appeal of other kids/teen series that have made it big with adults in the past few years.
eponymous Wimpy Kid is Greg Heffley, a fairly average middle-schooler.
His stunts and foibles are chronicled in journal format, with
accompanying sketches. Kids love the humor in the series -- Greg is
something of an Everykid, who fights with his brothers, does a
halfhearted job at his schoolwork, dreams up get-rich-quick schemes that
never pan out, and plays a lot of video games. Girls are still a fairly
abstract concept to Greg, though with the release of the seventh book,
that may start to change.
I read all six books over the course of
two or three days -- they're quick reads, which further endears them to
kids who are reluctant to tackle heavier tomes. I get a little annoyed
with Greg's attitude at times, which probably displays the accurate
characterization in the books! I wouldn't necessarily recommend this
series to adults, unless you are trying to keep up with what's hot in
the middle-grade age bracket. I might recommend them to kids . . . but
most kids have already read them!
Since I assume some of you readers will have stumbled across this post doing what I did recently -- searching for Wimpy Kid library programs -- I thought I'd mention that for the program at my library, we'll be using some of the ideas from the Event Kit which can be downloaded from the publisher's website. We'll play the Cheese Touch game (a modified version of Wink 'Em), have a trivia contest, and have the word searches and similar paper games on hand for them to take home. We're also going to be making Wimpy Kid masks -- a very simple craft; I'll print out the outline of Greg's face and they will get to select which shape the mouth will be and stick it on -- and probably decorate sugar cookies with white icing and chocolate sprinkles to make a similar face (or, really, whatever they want).
(Reviewed from copies borrowed through my library system.)