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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball Book Poster Image
Home improvement mishaps abound in funny 14th installment.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Pictures depicting The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Some basics on the process of permits, inspections, and large-scale home remodels. Talks about the concept of reincarnation.

Positive Messages

Strong essages about facing fears, overcoming setbacks, and creativity -- Greg is always full of big ideas. Expect a little bit of potty humor but not as much as some Wimpy Kid books: feet falling in a toilet, a plumber's rear end showing -- little brother Manny tries to run a credit card through it.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Greg often makes the wrong decisions -- it's his hallmark and what makes his antics really funny to kids. As usual, he takes advantage of his best friend Rowley's kindness. But he's also incredibly creative when he sets up a garage sale and when he designs his own dream home. He also does all his chores with few complaints. The story shows a family working together -- making decisions, doing chores, getting ready for a move. A lot goes wrong, but they weather it together.

Violence & Scariness

The funeral of a great-aunt; talk of ghosts, zombies, and a scary monster in the drain (with pictures of what Greg imagines). Plus a near-fall from the roof and lots of damage to a house. Sadness when Rowley thinks Greg is moving far away. Construction workers shove each other.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball is the 14th book in the bestselling Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. Like The Long Haul, most of the book focuses on Greg's interactions with family. This means no bullies bother him at school and he's too busy with chores most of the time for some of his characteristic thoughtless behavior. He's mean a few times to his best friend Rowley, however. And there's a bit of potty humor, including a visual of little brother Manny trying to swipe a credit card on a plumber's partially exposed backside. Violence is mild, with the funeral of a great-aunt; talk of ghosts, zombies, and a scary monster in the drain (with pictures of what Greg imagines). Plus there's a near-fall from the roof and lots of damage to a house. When Greg's at his best, he's creative and resourceful rather than mischievous. Here, he designs an underground house kids will love and puts together a garage sale with his old toys and some rather ingenious marketing.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byLainie.R November 13, 2019

hate

I hate this series. Basically everything that could possibly go wrong goes wrong. Tbh I could write my own Diary of a Wimpy Kid series bc it's the same ide... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old November 7, 2019

I like this book

Very good book. It make me happy when I read it :D

What's the story?

In DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: WRECKING BALL, Greg's mom persuades him to clean out his closet. He finds plenty of stuff he doesn't use and decides to have a garage sale. Just as he's getting customers interested, it starts to rain. Then Mom shares some bad news: Their great-aunt has died. After the funeral, they find out they're inheriting money. Mom decides a new kitchen is in order and soon workers arrive, make a ton of noise, and drive the neighbors crazy. The work comes to a halt when the inspector comes, however, and suddenly Mom is talking about moving instead. When they spot a house with a pool, Greg is ready to move in on the spot, even though it means switching schools, but his friend Rowley is devastated.

Is it any good?

This funny 14th installment is more family-focused than most and will get kids laughing about chores, moving, and home improvement. It starts out in a ramble as books in the mega-popular graphic novel series usually do. Greg cleans his closet, has a garage sale, dreams of being famous and having a fancy house that he designs himself, and fumbles through household chores. When the construction workers show up, the warm-up is over. From here, the mishaps build until, the next thing you know, a hot tub is crashing through the roof.

Wimpy Kid continues to be a good series for reluctant readers. This one is also fun to read as a family because we see the Hefleys do chores together, have family meetings, and make plenty of mistakes -- and Greg's not always the culprit either. Mom books the movers on the wrong day and Dad should not be allowed to fix the washing machine.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the move in Wrecking Ball. Only Mom is excited to move at first. What changes everyone's mind? How does the whole family help get ready?

  • Greg is given many chores. Does he always do his best work? What are you responsible for at home? How were your chores decided?

  • Since there's a lot of family antics here, this might be a fun one to read as a family. How many Wimpy Kid books have you read with parents? Just by yourself?

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