Book checkouts: 12
Series checkouts: 48, with books 2-4 unreturned at the end of the school year *unhappy librarian grumblings*
Typical reader: Elementary students, grades 3-5, as well as some 6th and 7th grade students
Synopsis: Greg Heffley records his experiences with words and pictures in his diary (excuse me, "journal") as he tries to survive sixth grade.
My Goodreads rating: 4 stars
Here's another amazingly popular series that my students just can't give up. Unfortunately, I mean that a bit literally, since the school year ended with only the first and fifth books on the shelf. They're all checked out to people, so at least I know who to get after for the books, but they're overdue. These are three books that are Follett Publishing-bound (hardcover of sorts) with spine labels, barcodes, and the whole nine yards; it's not like they can hide the library book status. Blah! *end librarian rant*
Anyway. This series is a leader in the juvenile fiction trend of diary-style novels. The books have stylized writing to look like a kid's print, and are full of little illustrations. A book like Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a quick read for a typical reader, and attractive to reluctant ones. When I don't have much time but want to read, I enjoy manga and graphic novels. I can certainly understand the appeal of this format.
This series can also be a parent-pleaser. There's no foul language, gore or sexual content, hardly any violence, and positive parental role models. It's aimed at upper elementary to middle school students, but there's nothing objectionable if a child in a lower grade wants to read it. Maybe a discerning parent won't like the potential for imitative behavior, but along with the little pranks and not always making the right choices, the protagonist does often try to do what's right.
Fun fact: This series was originally published on the web at http://www.funbrain.com