Plot Summary: Boys don’t keep diaries—or do they? It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship.
This book was originally rejected by nearly the entire publishing world. Jeff Kinney tried and tried to get a publishing house to pick it up, but no one was willing to take a chance on him. So he made it available for free as a web-comic on his website. It grew in popularity so much that the publishing world took notice, then offered him a contract.
I just love the history of this book.
I’d been meaning to read this book for forever. I finally did, and finished it in an afternoon. I absolutely loved the format, the whole diary (sorry, journal) feeling, and loved the accompanying pictures. It’s hard for me to imagine a house not wanting to pick this up.
The story itself is a great example of how difficult middle school is – that stage between cooties in elementary school and the coolness of high school, how selfish and clueless kids can be, and that it’s what everyone goes through.
The only thing I didn’t care for was the story’s arc, or shape. It was pretty consistent throughout, and I would have preferred more ups and downs. But I think that’s just personal taste, because Kinney’s story fits well with his format and main character. I can see kids loving this book, and I’ve already got my copy set aside for my boys when they reach middle school age. Definitely recommended.