I first learned about Diary of a Wimpy Kid through the Funbrain website. If you don’t know about Funbrain, it’s a website filled with free educational games for kids. It’s by far the most popular website available on our children’s game computers. Jeff Kinney, the author/illustrator of the Wimpy Kid books is also a computer game programmer who manages Funbrain, and he started putting Diary of a Wimpy Kid up on the site in daily installments back in 2004. The first book came out in print last year, and the second, Diary of a WImpy Kid: Rodrick Rules was released in February of this year.
The books are written as journal entries by average kid Greg Heffley with simple illustrations. Greg’s at the age where his parents drive him crazy, especially his mom who came up with the idea of the diary to begin with. He’s an average student – he’s a little clueless though, which lends itself to some funny situations. He’s not exactly popular, but he’s not an outcast either. His best friend is a goofy kid named Rowley who often annoys Greg but is extremely loyal. The person who absolutely tortures Greg the most though is his older teen brother Rodrick. He often makes Greg’s life miserable.
Both of the books in the series are hilarious. I found myself often laughing out loud while reading them, and I can see why the stories are especially popular with fourth- and fifth-grade boys. I’m sure they see a lot of themselves in Greg. However I think some of the appeal is also that kids feel smarter than Greg when he gets himself into crazy predicaments – which he does with regularity.
The books have now drawn the attention of Hollywood. Fox 2000 will be adapting the first book into a live-action film and has also bought the rights to the sequel and the three books yet-to-come in the series. I hope they do a good job with the movies. I highly recommend the books, especially if you want a good laugh!