Thursday 23 November 2023

No Brainer: Diary of a Wimpy Kid

No Brainer: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. Penguin Random House 2023. Paperback MG graphic novel RRP $14.99. ISBN 9780143778448.

Reviewed by Debra Williams

Jeff Kinney continues to tickle the Middle-Grade funny bones with his latest book. Protagonist Greg Heffley finds middle school throws all sorts of challenges which cause him to do a lot of pondering about why school is needed and if we could do things without our brains. He has a thought that if kids could send their brains to school alone, then their bodies could go out and have fun. That’s just one of Greg’s diary ponderings about school and life in general.

The Larry Mack middle school is far from the best, and when the school is threatened with closure, the principal tries all sorts of methods to save it, including renting out the classrooms to bring in money! When the students are told they will be sent to two different schools, Greg realises he will be separated from his best friend Rowley. Can the boys team up to save the school, which is named after a shonky used car salesman who is currently in prison?

There are many funny moments, including the overreaction of parents to some of the library books, which have pictures of various animals without clothing. This ensues in a raft of complaints and the librarian having to deal with the books in question creatively. A clever and wry comment on the current banning of books, methinks!

Jeff Kinney is a number 1 New York times bestselling author, and it’s not hard to see why. This book will appeal to all middle-graders, 10-12 years +.

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