Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw Book Poster Image
More funny antics, clueless behavior in 3rd installment.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 76 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Humor centers around siblings tormenting each other and friends manipulating, lying to, and stealing from one another. Plus kids hand out nasty Valentine cards, parents lie to their children and steal their snacks, students avoid learning, and teachers behave unfairly and unreasonably.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while there is none of the usual kind of objectionable content, every character, both adult and child, behaves badly, and often dishonestly. Humor centers around siblings tormenting each other and friends manipulating, lying to, and stealing from one another. Plus kids hand out nasty Valentine cards, parents lie to their children and steal their snacks, students avoid learning, and teachers behave unfairly and unreasonably.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8, 10, and 12 year old Written bytcbueti January 22, 2009

Lighten Up!

I haven't read this one yet, but I've read others, and as a children's librarian and mom, I must say that this series has reached a level of read... Continue reading
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written bybrown_eyed_girl April 22, 2010

OK for older readers, not so much for beginners

I'm really surprised to see the young ages for the Wimpy Kid series on CSM. Usually I feel like the reviews here are right on but I think they missed the b... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byAverageJake March 22, 2016

Greg's a Silly Goose ~ My Grandmother

Greg Heffely is just about the opposite of what my parents want me to be. However, this book has no language, and is pretty hilarious. This Wimpy Kid is requi... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old August 13, 2010

such language aint good for younger children

but rodrick tell such language in front his small brother .and he cant be a better role model.

What's the story?

Like its predecessors, there's no real story here. Greg torments and is tormented by his siblings, schemes to avoid work and learning, tries vainly to impress a girl, manipulates his one friend, and is treated unfairly by parents and teachers.

Is it any good?

There are two ways to look at this story and, indeed, the whole series: One is that it's a humorous, short, easy-to-read book that appeals to reluctant readers, and all of that is true. It's the illustrations that make it particularly funny -- simple b&w cartoons that are so brilliantly done that they convey both the characters as well as Greg the narrator's attitude towards them, and yet somehow still remain believable as a kid's drawings. Along with that comes text that always ensures that the reader knows more than Greg and can have the uh-oh pleasure of anticipating what is going to go wrong.

The other way to look at it is that the story is basically The Three Stooges without the nasty violence, or perhaps an extended version of America's Funniest Home Videos. Every single character, major or minor, adult or child (including, especially, the narrator, Greg), is pretty clueless, often devious and mean as well, and much of the humor derives from watching them get humiliated. There's no real plot, no character growth, no lessons, just the dubious pleasure of feeling superior to these characters. So if your kids like it, fine; it probably does no harm. But as to the argument that we need books like this to entice reluctant readers to read, one can hope that J. K. Rowling has forever dispelled that notion.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why we find cluelessness and bad behavior funny. Why, for instance, is the situation depicted on the cover, which anyone would find completely humiliating if it happened to them, funny when it happens to someone else?

  • Why are these books so popular when none of the characters are anyone you would want to know in real life? Is it realistic?

  • Have things like this ever happened to you? Are there times when you have thought like Greg?

Book details

For kids who love to laugh

Our editors recommend

Top advice and articles

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

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate