So, this summer I am working as an intern in the children’s department of a library. Because of this, many of the books I am reading are not really young adult books. I know this is a young adult blog though so I keep trying to find excuses so I can write about them anyways. For example, some of the books are on the border between children’s and young adult so it doesn’t really matter what section I got them from. Or maybe the book is just so darn good it will appeal to all ages. Unfortunately, these two books don’t fit in either of those categories. So the excuse I am giving this time is that there has been a whole lot of hype about Diary of a Wimpy Kid, especially with the movie, and I want to inform the people who are curious about it but don’t really want to read it themself why it is so extremely popular with kids. Maybe? That’s the best I’ve got.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Greg is a somewhat nerdy middle schooler who wants to be popular. In his diary he describes his various schemes, his problems with bullies, growing apart from his friend, sibling issues, and his daily life in general. This book was kind of funny and I can see why kids like it. There is a lot of physical humor and a lot about trying to fit it. I laughed a couple of times and it was a fast read and pretty interesting. I just didn’t like it that much. I think the biggest problem is that Greg is mean and self-centered. The way he treats his friend Rowley is horrible and it all makes me feel bad. The only good thing is that he doesn’t seem purposefully mean. More like obliviously mean. I’m glad I read it just because I have had so many kids come in to the library asking for it, but I have absolutely no desire to read more.
Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell
These books are very similar to Diary of a Wimpy except the main character is a girl. Nikki is the new girl in school and just wants to have friends. Unfortunately, her locker is right next to Mackenzie, the most popular girl in school, and things between them get off on the wrong foot. In her diary, Nikki describes the ups and downs of eighth grade – complete with crushes, mean girls, fights with friends, homework. It is actually really good. I admit, I’ve already checked out the second one and I am looking forward to reading it. Maybe it is because I am a girl, but I could totally relate to the issues and meltdowns that Nikki has. Also, the drawings are really funny. For example, for an assignment on A Midsummer Nights Dream Nikki draws Joe Jonas, Justin Timberlake and Corbin Bleu versions of Puck the fairy. I don’t know why but that just cracked me up. So if you are looking for a very quick read that takes you back to middle school, then this is pretty enjoyable.