YA fiction, Published 2007
Read Dec 2009
Movie Rating: PG
Recommended to anyone who is in or ever went to middle school.
It’s a new year at middle school and Greg Heffley’s mom has given him a journal to hopefully reign in some of his obnoxious behavior. Greg points out to not expect “Dear Diary this and Dear Diary that” from him and if anyone finds out he’s keeping a journal, especially his older brother Rodrick, he’s dead.
I loved this book. The book feels like a journal, with lines and all. Greg writes and draws to explain his misadventures at school and home. I can see why this book has been claimed to get the many reluctant young readers back to reading again. Greg is the underdog that everyone wants to root for. His parents and teachers don’t understand him and he often gets in trouble. He’s the butt of this older brother’s jokes and has to keep on top of his younger brother, Manny, or he’ll get it too. He’s not the most popular kid in school, in fact he has one best friend, Rowley, and he’s mostly friends with him so he can play his video games down the street at his house.
The story arc revolves around a piece of cheese that must have fallen out of someone’s sandwich the year before and has laid on the blacktop in the school playground ever since. Anyone who touches the cheese is cursed with the “Cheese Touch”, but luckily everyone is in the clear this year since the guy that was last cursed moved off at the end of last year. But the piece of cheese has become even nastier this year and Greg is very aware of its whereabouts at all times on the playground. It soon comes back to haunt Greg and Rowley toward the end of the year.
In between the “Cheese Touch,” Greg survives September through June of another year in middle school. I thought many of the situations Greg finds himself in are very humorous and indicative of middle school and I think everyone will find something to relate to. You’ll have to get your hands on this one to discover all of Greg’s misadventures.
On to Rodrick Rules…