Let me say that I am glad I read it. I though it was very creative, funny, and real. There were several times I actually laughed out loud while I read. I also found this book to be an extremely fast read...even for me!
I can see why so many students like this text. Kinney provides so many opportunities for the reader to connect with the protagonist. I must admit that I too had many connections...ranging from my junior high experiences (long ago) to my current role as a parent of middle school/elementary children. My next step is to talk to my children and ask them about their personal connections to the book. This could be an interesting conversation.
I am often asked if this book is considered a graphic novel. I would say technically no, but there are some elements (similar to Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpaints Series) that might make students ask the question. Personally, I would consider it more of a radical change text or an illustrated novel than a graphic novel.
Most of you are probably aware of the sequel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and the newest addition Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw (coming out in January '09). Also be sure to checkout the website for the online journal...very cool! http://www.funbrain.com/journal/Journal.html
By the way, now I know why my son wants to study robotics for his independent learning project.