Wednesday, January 14, 2015

'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' by Jeff Kinney (Book 1)

Official Summary:
Boys don't keep diaries—or do they?

The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to.

It's a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you're ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.

In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley's star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend's newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion.

Let me start out by saying that I never actually intended on reading 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid.' It just kind of happened. You don't believe me, do you? That's okay - you try ignoring the same title in the Kindle Unlimited top whatever for months and we'll have a little snoop in on your reading list. If the allure of all the nearly free titles aren't clogging up your to-be-read pile with questionable content in just a couple of days I'd argue that your using the service wrong. Yup. I went there. No. I'm not sorry.

Well, maybe a little bit sorry. But only a little. And only because now you have to suffer through a review of what is arguably one of the worst titles I've ever read. How is this crap so popular? Not only does it inhabit some strange space between a comic strip and a Roald Dahl novel - and I've gotta say that even having this garbage even spark the memory of fantastic children's writer Dahl makes me a bit sick to my stomach. That guy is a genius. This guy knows, has or was a bratty kid -  but there isn't anything redeeming about the content or the main character. The so-called "wimpy kid" is a freaking jerk that is constantly blaming others for his mistakes, admittedly using his friends to avert punishment, shows barely a modicum of respect for the authority figures in his life, and steals from his brother (whose also a jerk, by the way).

The only reason I can think of that this hunk of literary garbage is so widely read is that this kid, this bratty, selfish, dumb kid is an accurate reflection of the state of childhood right now. And that makes me sad.

Bottom Line: I don't care if Kinney comes out with a hundred more of these titles and they make another fifty movies from them, my advice will still be the same: Steer clear. This shouldn't be as popular as it is, and it certainly shouldn't be in the top 100. Ultimately, if this is the direction of our culture, then I'm disappointed. With so many enriching titles out there for children, the popularity of this one is mind-blowing and makes me more then just a little concerned for the reading lists of this country's youth.

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