Thursday, January 13, 2011
The Wimpy Kid Trend
Ever since Jeff Kinney hit a grand-slam with his Wimpy Kid series there has been an insurgence of titles published in a similar format. Here are two which I found to be particularly good.
Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters by Rachel Vail:
Alvin Ho (Lenore Look) meets Wimpy Kid, Greg Heffley (Jeff Kinney) in yet another diary format book. Justin (Case) K. is a sensitive, self conscious worry-wart. When Justin isn't playing with his beloved stuffties, much of his time is taken up with worry and dread; what if his new teacher hates kids with curly hair and blue sneakers? Justin is a big-hearted, loveable boy who readers will root for as he navigates the perils of friendship, family-life, school and gym class. Believable and laugh-out-loud funny. A great choice for reluctant readers, worriers or younger kids who might not yet be ready for the Wimpy Kid series. Recommended for kids in grades 2-4
The Popularity Papers: Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang by Amy Ignatow
In a quest for popularity, 5th graders Julie and Lydia decide to record the behavior, dress and activities of those kids who have already acheived the elite status of "popular". The girls keep a co-authored journal including "hand-written" notes in each girls distinctive handwriting and colored illustrations. Julie and Lydia experiment with new wardrobes, hairstyles and participating in different extra-curricular activities. The experiement yields different results for each girl and turns out to be a learning experience neither expected. Along the way, readers are introduced to a cast of well drawn supporting characters including Julie's two dads; Daddy and Papa Dad. This visually captivating book (somewhat reminiscent of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series) offers a realistic look at the stuggles that tweens endure and is sure to be a hit. Recommended for readers in grades 5 - 7