by Jeff Kinney (Penguin) ISBN: 978-0-141-36472-8
This is the 10th in the series about the Wimpy Kid, Greg Heffley. They are “novels in cartoons” that have become a worldwide phenomenon since publication of the first diary in 2008. I’d heard of the Wimpy Kid, but Old School is the first I’ve read.
I was surprised (and delighted) to discover it’s illustrated throughout. Each page carries a cartoon on a page that looks like a school exercise book. This format makes it appealing and accessible to its 9-12-year-old target readers. Greg’s diary entries hilariously convey his day-to-day antics as he navigates junior-high, while co-habiting with his middle-class American family, and a venerated pet pig.
When Greg has to support his mother’s initiative to get the neighbourhood electronics free, he asks if life was really better in the old days. Greg documents what happens when Grandpa moves in and requires constant electronic surveillance; brother Rodrik gets arrested in a clown suit; and what ensues in the absence of toilet paper at the summer camp Greg’s forced to attend.
I read this in one sitting and had several laugh-out-loud moments. My 18-year-old loved it too. The Wimpy Kid has enduring appeal, sure to get most reluctant young readers hooked.
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