by Jeff Kinney
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- OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
Text Difficulty:5 - 6
Starred review from March 5, 2007
Kinney's popular Web comic, which began in 2004, makes its way to print as a laugh-out-loud "novel in cartoons," adapted from the series. Middle school student Greg Heffley takes readers through an academic year's worth of drama. Greg's mother forces him to keep a diary ("I know what it says on the cover, but when Mom went out to buy this thing I specifically
told her to get one that didn't say 'diary' on it"), and in it he loosely recounts each day's events, interspersed with his comic illustrations. Kinney has a gift for believable preteen dialogue and narration (e.g., "Don't expect me to be all 'Dear Diary' this and 'Dear Diary' that"), and the illustrations serve as a hilarious counterpoint to Greg's often deadpan voice. The hero's utter obliviousness to his friends and family becomes a running joke. For instance, on Halloween, Greg and his best friend, Rowley, take refuge from some high school boys at Greg's grandmother's house; they taunt the bullies, who then T.P. her house. Greg's journal entry reads, "I do feel a little bad, because it looked like it was gonna take a long time to clean up. But on the bright side, Gramma is retired, so she probably didn't have anything planned for today anyway." Kinney ably skewers familiar aspects of junior high life, from dealing with the mysteries of what makes someone popular to the trauma of a "wrestling unit" in gym class. His print debut should keep readers in stitches, eagerly anticipating Greg's further adventures. Ages 8-13.
- The main character wants to make one thing clear: this is NOT a diary--it's a journal. And it's his mother's idea for him to chronicle his life as a tortured sixth-grader, not his. One day Greg will be famous, but "for now I'm stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons." In a voice that brings to mind Holden Caulfield and David Sedaris rolled into one, Greg discusses the fleeting nature of popularity, the logic of bullying, and the fickleness of the fairer sex. Narrator Ramon de Ocampo is completely tuned in to Greg's angst-filled point of view. Though Greg is not always what you'd call a sympathetic character, de Ocampo's well-dramatized, insightful presentations of his various plights evoke our empathy--and laughter. J.C.G. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine
June 1, 2008
Gr 5-8-Greg Heffly has started seventh grade with an albatross around his neck. His mother insists that he keep a diary and record his thoughts and feelings during this pivotal year. What follows is an account of the ups and downs of middle school life through Greg's eyes: bullying, popularity, the discovery of the opposite sex, unreasonable teachers, sports, and more. This novel (Amulet Books, 2007) by Jeff Kinney has been available online (funbrain.com) as a Web comic for several years. The print version includes additional episodes. Actor Ramon de Ocampo does a fine job interpreting Greg's voice, but the print version must be paired with the audiobook because the hilarious cartoon illustrations and handwritten text are integral to the telling and add sparkle to the narration. This will be an incredibly popular choice, especially with boys and reluctant readers.Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK
Copyright 2008 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
- Publishers Weekly, starred review "[This] should keep readers in stitches ..."
PublisherRecorded Books, Inc.
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OverDrive MP3 AudiobookBurn to CD:PermittedTransfer to device:PermittedTransfer to Apple® device:PermittedPublic performance:Not permittedFile-sharing:Not permittedPeer-to-peer usage:Not permittedAll copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.
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