Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

I have recently had several students ask me about Jeff Kinney's book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Sadly, I could only give them second-hand information about the book because I had not read it. I had heard many good reports about the book with one such report from my son (4th grader at the time). With all this in mind, I thought it was time to read the book.

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!

By the way, now I know why my son wants to study robotics for his independent learning project.


Happy Reading,
Dr. Quinn

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