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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.
- Parents say
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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?
- Author: Jeff Kinney
- Illustrator: Jeff Kinney
- Genre: Humor
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Middle School
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Amulet Books
- Publication date: November 5, 2019
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 224
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 13, 2020
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