One children’s book series has managed to find its way onto the New York Times Best Seller’s List for an amazing 204 weeks, and counting. No, I’m not talking about the Hunger Games, I’m talking about Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. And this holiday season the newest installment, The Third Wheel, has also landed on the Christmas wish lists of thousands of kids.
What exactly is it about these books that have both boys and girls clamoring for more? Before I read the book for myself I asked my oldest son, whose personal library includes every copy of the series. His answer, “The pictures.”
Okay, I get that but really what is it about the story and characters that you like. “I like that it reads like a real diary and that he’s normal.”
Clearly, I wasn’t going to get much more out of him so I sat down and just read the book for myself. Guess what,
I liked the pictures, it reads like a real diary, and he’s normal.
Let me explain. When you write in your diary most times (especially at a young age) you’re writing an outline of your life and thoughts at a particular time. It stuck me as odd that we went from spying on neighbors to student councils and deadbeat brothers but that’s how diaries read.
The Wimpy Kid of the series is Greg Heffley and he’s not that wimpy, he’s not that dorky, but he’s not that cool either. He’s the kid stuck in the middle, he is my son, he is me. I get that. And as for the pictures, well, everyone likes books with pictures, duh!
Okay, so I’m halfway down the page and I realize I still haven’t actually reviewed The Third Wheel so here it is. Greg helps one of his friends get on student council and in an effort to raise money for some extra cushioning (once you read the book this will make sense) they decide to hold a dance.
Remember that first dance and all the anticipation leading up to it? The pairing off, the back and forth, the heartbreak when you realized the only way you’d get a candy gram is if you sent it to yourself? Yeah, it consumes Greg and his friends and climaxes on that big night. You know things aren’t going to go as planned, they never do, but you never know how off track things can get until Greg is involved.
So yes, just like all the books before it, I give it a big ol’ thumbs up! If you have or know a tween, this is a great gift idea and you can find it at most retailers.
I received this book to review. All the opinions expressed are my own (and my son’s). I received no other compensation.