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
Parents recommendPopular with kids
More funny antics, clueless behavior in 3rd installment.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 83 reviews

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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
Adult Written byDiana S. October 24, 2016

Diary of a wimpy kid: The last staw

In my opinion I think this book is a really good book because it expresses the failures and benefits of being in a middle schooler's mind that happens to... Continue reading
Parent Written bytreat02 December 27, 2012

My favorite book of the series :)

I liked this one (probably MY favorite)! The refrence to "Spin the Bottle" doesn't stay long, and it was him simply thinking of kissing someone a... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 10, 2021

This is a rlly good book

Just like every other book in the series this is also rlly good. One thing that was rlly funny imo was that Greg decided he was over his long time crush holly h... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 13, 2021

Kinney's best book yet

I love this book! This is my favorite one in the series. The story that Greg wrote, "Wise Up, Mr. Shropsharp!"was the best part. Or maybe when Manny c... Continue reading

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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love to laugh

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