A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Greg's mom teaches him how to read food labels and, in the process, he learns how snack companies find ways to fool consumers into thinking what they're buying is healthy. Greg learns some basic rules in basketball the embarrassing way, including the fact that he gets two free throws after a shooting foul.
Extreme perseverance in the face of failure. In a small way, Greg also learns a lesson about the joy of being on a team. On the negative side, there's some minor potty humor -- a basketball ends up in a urinal during a game.
Positive Role Models
Greg and his whole basketball team may be terrible, and behave badly in hotel rooms (with consequences), but they're not quitters. They stick it out through the whole excruciating season. Greg had promised his mom. Greg even begrudgingly learns that there are some fun parts about being on a team. On the other hand, Greg is his usual lazy and irresponsible self for laughs. Also on their worst behavior are some parents at basketball games having brawls in the stands.
Greg's coach is Mr. Patel, and his son Preet plays on the team. Another boy on Greg's team also appears to be Asian American. There's also a girl on their team.
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Violence & Scariness
Mostly fighting among kids on the basketball court and spectators in the stands, shown prominently in the drawings. A boy falls through a ceiling. Kids are knocked out by water balloons that have been frozen. A girl is shown biting a man's leg and hanging there by her teeth. Greg gets lost in a giant football stadium.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A picture of a kiss on a Kiss Cam. A man and a boy depicted in their underwear.
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The expression "have your butt handed to you" for a poor game performance.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot is the 16th book in the bestselling Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. This one's for any kid who's ever been a terrible player on a terrible sports team. Greg's basketball team is just awful, but he sticks it out through the season. He even learns some lessons about what's good about being on a sports team -- it's not just about the winning, thank goodness. Expect some brawling on the basketball court and in the stands that's depicted prominently in the simple pencil drawings. There's also a kid who falls through a ceiling and some kids knocked out by water balloons that were frozen for a joke. There's not as much potty humor as usual -- a basketball falls in a urinal. There are also two pictures of people in their underwear (but no one sitting on the toilet this time!). Parents everywhere will thank Greg's mom for her lesson on reading food labels.
Is It Any Good?
Kids who've ever had a terrible season on a terrible sports team, this 16th installment in the Wimpy Kid franchise is for you. Laugh out your frustration along with poor Greg, who can't play basketball for all the world. There's even some trying there, to appease his mom who wants to relive her middle school sports glory days and is pretty transparent about it. Sure, Greg gets up to some of his usual lazy antics, but the amazing thing is that he sticks it out through the whole excruciating season. With his usual downtrodden humor, he observes it all: the massive point spreads, the rivalry fights (players and parents!), the coach pep talks about pride (better than they deserved), and the ball that lands in the urinal during a game -- why does the bathroom door open right onto the basketball court?
Just when you think Greg's miserable season is over, his mom has other ideas: a second-chance tournament for losing teams. Something author Jeff Kinney does very well is set a scene for disaster, and then pile one disaster on top of another to build his climactic action into a state of complete chaos. The tournament takes place in an abandoned prison, for starters. It all goes hilariously wrong from there.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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