Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney is the latest in the long running Wimpy Kid series in which the hero, Greg Heffley, does very little at all to great acclaim.
As you can probably tell, Wimpy Kid is not my favourite or my best.
I have written before about Wimpy Kid books, as through being a kind parent and a good librarian, I have flogged away at several earlier volumes of Greg Heffley’s diaries.
It is fair to say that if you loved all the other Wimpy Kid offerings, this one will not disappoint, as it is exactly like all the others.
In this eighth volume I feel that there is even less story than in the previous volumes. There is hardly any story in those either. Here Greg bemoans his friendless, girlfriendless state and attempts to rectify those problems with a series of self obsessed, usually cruel and thoughtless plans that all backfire on him spectacularly.
I hate the way Wimpy Kid is so cruel. To me, Greg has no redeeming features whatsoever. The things that make him happy make other people miserable and the things that make the reader happy make Greg miserable. It is an endless cycle of cruelty wrapped up in amusing cartoons and vaguely Homer Simpsonesque catch phrases.
Having said that, I will inevitably get copies for our library, which will be fought over and endlessly out on loan to all and sundry. It will remain a firm favourite with the sevens and up of both sexes and will continue to make me feel old, because I just don’t get it. They are good books for newly confident readers, with lots of blank space, simple text and plenty of drawings. There are no difficult concepts or words and a confident reader will finish this in a few hours and feel that they have tackled something worthwhile because it is in a proper novel format. It is great for reluctant readers and very manageable for children who you want to push but who aren’t quite ready for full on novels yet.