Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

Big dose of sibling rivalry in very funny 2nd book.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Sibling rivalry, mean pranks played at school, and some plots for cheating, but nothing feels too mean-spirited and the humor is often based on lessons the clueless main character should be learning (and readers will get themselves).

Positive role models

Greg can be pretty mean to his friends, is sarcastic, often has poor judgment, and gets caught in a lie -- all lead to lessons and consequences. His mother does a great job of reeling him back in when he makes mistakes.

Violence & scariness

Rodrick draws some violent cartoons, including one of his brother Greg being pushed off a cliff. A boy is shown injured when he kicks something heavy.


Mild name calling, like "jerk" and "nerd."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know this book has sibling rivalry, one wild party, and some scheming to cheat on tests and get out of chores. The great thing is, like most middle school kids, the characters get caught and are punished.

What's the story?

Greg Heffley is just trying to put the summer and its events behind him. It would be a lot easier if his mean older brother Rodrick didn't know his darkest secret. All Greg has to do is keep Rodrick quiet and keep his journal out of Rodrick's hands and everything should be OK, well not OK, but tolerable.

Is it any good?


A worthy follow-up to the first book Diary of a Wimpy Kid, RODRICK RULES gives us more of Greg's funny take on the world around him through his comics-laced journal. Greg's in more scrapes this time around, and worse than that, his bully brother Rodrick knows one of Greg's secrets that could definitely get him into trouble and threatens to tell the world. Here comes the brotherly blackmail (and a great topic for parent-kid discussions).

The cartoons that go along with Greg's journal entries are hilarious. Bestselling author Jeff Kinney does a great job portraying the hazardous environment of middle school and of showing us a relatable kid whose full of foibles -- while he's very likeable he can be sarcastic, snarky, and occasionally pretty mean to his friends. The situations Greg finds himself are both familiar and embarrassing. While Greg likes to think he's the victim of misunderstandings, like when he promises to be honest and takes it too far, the majority of the time he gets what he deserves.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about lying and friendship. Why was Greg's mother more upset when she found out he lied?

  • How would you feel if your friends treated you like Greg did Chirag?

  • Have you ever done something in school that made other people feel bad, but made you feel cool and popular?

Book details

Author:Jeff Kinney
Illustrator:Jeff Kinney
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Amulet Books
Publication date:February 1, 2008
Number of pages:224
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 14
Read aloud:8
Read alone:8

This review of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Written byAnonymous November 28, 2014
age 11+

Hilarious sequel is mostly about brotherhood and getting along

Educator Written byMychemicalstinkpants April 25, 2011
Kid, 10 years old March 23, 2011
age 8+

A good book for kids

This is a funny book! I think kids 8+ would love to read the whole series!!!
Kid, 11 years old April 11, 2010
age 9+

if you liked the 1st you will like this one

rodrick is funny in my opinon but he does mean stuff to greg thank god i dont have a older brother the best scene was the party
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass