Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1

Book review by Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1 Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 9+

Laugh-out-loud-funny series start tucks lessons in stories.

Parents say

age 9+

Based on 101 reviews

Kids say

age 8+

Based on 312 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Main character is a bad influence

My 6 year old picked up reading quickly and independently got into the Wimpy Kid series. Excited to support his reading habits we kept buying him books from the series without thought or research. Reading a couple of chapters here and there I intentionally pointed out to my son that the main character, Greg, was rude, a bad friend, and not to be copied, but since there weren't any adult themes and social skills have always been a strength for my kid, I never worried too much about it. Flashforward a year or so and we have a 7-year-old with the bad attitude of a full-blown sitcom teenager. Thinking this was a stage or some sort of pandemic-related issue, I continued to try to address the attitude without even thinking to blame this book series he has been constantly reading, and re-reading. However, after I finally sat down to watch the movie with my son the painful truth become undeniable. My son was absolutely a carbon copy of Greg. I realized, in the book series, Greg is his own hero. Even though Greg's attitude causes him many problems, Greg doesn't see himself as the issue and my son is too young to understand that very important nuance. Developmentally, my son takes the text at face value. He sees what Greg sees and has thereby learned being funny and cool means acting like a cocky, self-absorbed, jerk. To be honest, Bart Simpson would be a better role model. IF your kids are older this book might be more appropriate, however by that point I believe the reading level would be far too low. Elementary and middle school kids are trying to find themselves. It's normal for them to try on the attitudes and behaviors of the people and characters they see. Do yourself and your kid a giant favor and skip the Dairy of the Wimpy Kid book series. You're not missing anything.
5 people found this helpful.
age 8+

Entertaining and a good start for young readers.

The Diary Of A Wimpy Kid books have always been controversial for many parents, but in my opinion, they’re fine. They’re the perfect way to introduce young children to reading, without there being too many difficult words, etc. Although some characters have bad qualities, as long as your children aren’t badly behaved and/or easily influenced, then the books should be okay for them to read. They are an entertaining read, so I would recommend buying one (or more) of the books.

This title has:

Educational value
1 person found this helpful.

Book Details

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For kids who love school stories and humor

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