(3/20) Diary of a Wimpy Kid – “20 YA Novels for Adolescents”

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a young adult comedy graphic novel written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. It was published on April 1, 2007 and consists of 221 pages. The novel won the Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Book and the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is about a young boy named Greg Heffley who is about to start middle school. He writes in a journal, which he denies is a “diary”, documenting his life as he navigates being a new middle schooler as well as just navigating his life in general. He documents his life from the bad to the good.

At first, I wasn’t planning on reading this graphic novel, but when I read the first few pages, I not only felt that it would be relatable, but I also found that it’s similar to a graphic novel that I’m working on. Reading this graphic novel helped me get some ideas on how to write my own and helped me see how to better execute a similar type of story and graphic novel. I also loved how even though it was relatable, the relatability is comedically exaggerated.

Considering that this is a graphic novel with fun cartoon drawings, I would recommend second graders and up to read it individually. When considering that the graphic novel focuses on Greg Heffley’s experiences going to middle school, I would be more specific as to recommend  it to sixth – eighth graders.

If I wanted to do a read aloud from this graphic novel for my students, I would go with:

  • Pgs. 24 – 28, “Video Games Vs. Going Outside”.

  • Pgs. 95 – 113, “School Play”.

Although this graphic novel can be relatable to young adults, especially those who are in middle school, it does a wonderful job of taking relatability and exaggerating it for comedic purposes. From a middle schooler’s perspective, I feel that they would not only relate to the graphic novel in terms of the struggles of a middle schooler, but the ridiculous comedic exaggeration of the struggles will also put a small on their face and make them laugh.

After reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid, I feel the need to explore more novels/graphic novels that are relatable and use comedic exaggeration to drive the storytelling. I also loved how the graphic novel breaks the fourth, so when exploring more novels with a similar style and concept, I would love to read it from the perspective of a character admitting that they’re a character.

I have heard of this graphic novel back when I was in middle school and I’ve seen some of my classmates reading it, but I never thought about reading it for myself. I only remember seeing a little bit of the movie when it came out and that was it. If I could travel back in time to my middle school days, I would definitely change the fact that this graphic novel wasn’t in my life.

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