Friday 11 December 2015

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney (Puffin) PB RRP $14.99 ISBN9780143309000

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

What more can you say about the tenth book in a series which will make history by being published simultaneously in more than 90 countries around the world than it’s going to be another best-seller. The series by American Kinney has sold close to five million copies in Australia alone so hip hip hooray to an author who has got middle-grade (and older) children reading.

Like all of the books in the series, the first book of which, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, was published in 2007, the story is about Greg Heffley, an ordinary boy who has a real talent for mischief and misadventure. The lined pages with hand-written text and frequent cartoons give the illusion that Greg is its author, especially as they are written in diary form. The only speech is depicted in speech balloons in the cartoons; the rest of the story is related in first person present tense which give immediacy to the story-telling.

In this latest book, Greg tells how his town (‘let’s unplug to reconnect") has voluntarily unplugged and gone electronics free. Is Greg cut out for an old-fashioned world, is the question. After all, it’s only for one weekend. Greg gets involved in community work and discovers how difficult life ‘in the good old days’ can be.

Written in a child-friendly style with black and white illustrations which are all humorous, this book is yet another world-wide winner. As Time magazine once said, ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid is bent on world domination.

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