To give you an idea of the popularity of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, let me tell you about the release of the book in my classroom. Scholastic Book Clubs ran a promotion where students could preorder the book and it would arrive on the release date with a free Wimpy Kid bookmark. When I offered this option to my class, 44 of them ordered the book! They paid with checks, bills, coins, you name it- everyone wanted a copy of the book. Then they proceeded to ask me 100 times per day if the books had arrived yet. When the box came (specially decorated with Wimpy Kid drawings), they were ecstatic! Needless to say, Jeff Kinney is practically a god in the eyes of my 6th graders and that has not changed since the release of the first Wimpy Kid book.
Due to my overwhelming amounts of Cybil reading, I did not get around to Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days until this weekend. I was thrilled when the middle grade panel was informed that Kinney’s latest book was being moved to our category. Now I had an excuse to read it!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days does not disappoint. It is just as funny as the first books in the series and had me laughing out loud over and over. Kinney is an expert on the voice of middle school boys. He gets in their heads better than almost any other author. One of my favorite parts of the book was when Greg’s mom starts a book club for the neighborhood boys.
When the boys bring copies of their favorite books (comics, nonfiction, etc), Mrs. Heffley tells them they aren’t real books and then brings out her favorites- Little Women, The Yearling, Old Yeller, and Anne of Green Gables. Obviously, the boys are horrified.
The are the exact same types of books our teachers are always pushing us to read at school. They have a program where if you read a “classic” in your free time, they reward you with a sticker of a hamburger or something like that.
I don’t know who they think they’re fooling. You can get a sheet of a hundred stickers down at the arts-and-crafts store for fifty cents.
And Greg’s definition of a “classic” sounds pretty much the same as my sixth graders’s definitions…
I’m not really sure what makes a book a “classic” to begin with, but I think it has to be at least fifty years old and some person or animal has to die at the end.
I admit, I was cracking up there!
Greg is spending the summer at home in this book because his parents can’t afford to go on vacation this year. Of course, he ends up getting in more than enough scrapes. But the best part is when he ends up with a dog. Gosh knows I can sympathize with the sometimes annoying aspects of having a dog! Greg is also getting older and that comes out a few times in the story. He is in love with a high school girl, instead of a middle school girl, which is like a whole new world. However, anyone who is familiar with Greg knows that nothing ever works out the way he planned it to.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days was not my favorite of the WImpy Kid books, but it does not disappoint. I laughed out loud more than a few times and my students laughed even more than I did. Definitely recommended for any fans of the Wimpy Kid series!