By Jeff Kinney
Published by Puffin Books
Think picture books are just for little kids? Think again. With plenty of tongue-in-cheek illustrations, hilarious conversations and relatable situations, Diary of a Wimpy Kid has captured millions of readers worldwide.
The latest adventure of Greg Heffley, chronicled in The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney, will continue to delight fans, both young and old.
The diary starts off with Greg telling readers how life was before he came into this world. He shares how he swims and does cartwheels in his mother’s belly, often to classical music as she believes this will make him smart. Greg later goes on about his preschool and kindergarten life, which was quite challenging as he does not have the skills required.
Moving on, Greg gives readers a glimpse of his childhood, which is filled with hand-me-downs from Rodrick, Manny’s imaginary friends and other interesting snippets.
The diary then returns to present time where an election for student council is taking place. Greg hopes that Rowley will be elected as president, thinking this will give him perks and power in the battlefield many call middle school.
Meanwhile, his jobless Uncle Gary moves in with Greg’s family, bringing with him an endless source of problems. For starters, nobody can use the family couch as it has been permanently taken over by Uncle Gary.
The highlight of Greg’s school life is the Valentine’s Day Dance, for which he has to secure a date. After many failed attempts, he decides to go on a group date with Rowley, his best friend, and Abigail Brown. In typical wimpy kid fashion, the night is spiked with unexpected events.
Embarrassing fashion faux pas? Check. Awkward dances? Check. Sudden invasion of senior citizens? Check. The school dance seems to be more exciting than a roller-coaster ride, and readers will take pleasure in reading how Greg diffuses with these unexpected circumstances.
Kinney successfully maps out life as a middle-school student, sharing with readers genuine and relatable titbits of school. They get to see Greg mature and grow as a person while taking delight in the mischief he gets himself into. Young readers will delight in the entertaining illustrations and amusing stickers, and though older readers may find it hard to relate to the middle school setting, the way Greg shares his feelings and thoughts will surely make them crack up. After all, who hasn’t been through the battles of middle school?