And now, a break from our regularly scheduled programming…

It isn’t often that I venture into the world of YA novels these days, which is a shame. I love stories about kids and the various things they go through as they come of age. Unfortunately, the YA market has been overrun by vampires, swords & sorcery, and valley girls, making it more and more difficult to find decent reading material these days. But just when I thought all hope was lost, I came across DIARY OF A WIMPY KID.

As its title implies, a wimpy kid named Greg Heffley has decided to keep a journal of his first year in middle school. Greg faces the same things we’ve all faced during our youth – dealing with bullies, living with siblings who make our lives miserable, being embarrassed by our parents at the worst possible moments, but most of all, just trying to fit in during the tumultuous time of young adulthood.

The book is laid out like an actual diary, with lined pages and handwritten entries. Accompanying many of the passages are little sketches that help portray what Greg is going through in his daily life. But what makes the book so special is the sly sense of humor running throughout. I can’t tell you how many times I was outright laughing at the journal entries and/or the illustrations.

While some of the journal entries are little tidbits or observances, there are long stretches that deal with major things in his life – the desire to make it into the school’s yearbook as one of the Class Favorites (“Most Popular,” “Most Athletic,” etc), being forced by his mom to be a part of the school play, trying to start his own haunted house at Halloween, getting skunked at Christmas, and many more hilarious tales.

There are a half-dozen other books in the WIMPY KID series, as well as a movie that was released earlier in the year. I look forward to checking out each and every one of them as soon as I can.

And while this all sounds tame based on what most visitors to this site read, I found it to be a refreshing break from all the blood and guts, and most important of all, it put a smile on my face. Grab a copy and see if the same doesn’t happen to you.

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID was published by Amulet Books and is available as a trade hardcover with a cover price of $13.95 (but it can be found at a discount at numerous retailers).

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming…

(9 out of 10)

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