One of our new favorites here at the library is the Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Did you know that the second Wimpy Kid movie (Rodrick Rules) is coming out this weekend? That’s an excellent reason to feature Greg and Rowley (two of our favorite middle school characters to hit both the page and screen) and other characters like them!
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Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary. Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won’t do and what he actually does are two very different things.
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Other recommended titles like Wimpy Kid:
Bruel, Nick. Bad Kitty series
Pet owners beware! Bad Kitty is a funny series about a cat gone berserk! In the first book, Kitty is not happy when she’s told that her favorite foods are all gone and all that’s left are an alphabetical array of disgusting veggies! So Bad Kitty retaliates with an alphabetical listing of bad deeds. Uh-oh… From baths to babysitting to a new puppy, in this series for younger readers, Bad Kitty deals with things in her own indomitable way!
Cammuso, Frank. Knights of the Lunch Table series
New student Artie King is a nice, comics-loving kid who just wants to ease into life at his new school without attracting attention. But by second period, he already has enemies, including an older kid who stole his lunch (even when warned that the sandwich was out of boogers and soap by Artie’s sister!). To top it off, Artie has been assigned a funky old locker that no one has ever been able to open. Artie does though, and finds the locker full of all kinds useful stuff. He’s also made a few pals in the lunchroom, Percy and Wayne, and the science teacher, Mr. Merlyn, who seems weird but nice… Camelot Middle School is a strange place, but Artie is convinced he can find his niche!
Ignato, Amy. The Popularity Papers series
Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang are best friends with one goal: to crack the code of popularity. Lydia’s the bold one: aspiring theater star, stick-fighting enthusiast, human guinea pig. Julie’s the shy one: observer and artist, accidental field hockey star, faithful recorder. In this notebook they write down their observations and carry out experiments to try to determine what makes the popular girls tick. But somehow, when Lydia and Julie try to imitate the popular girls, their efforts don’t translate into instant popularity. Lydia ends up with a bald spot, their parents won’t stop yelling, and Julie finds herself the number-one crush of Roland Asbjørnsen. Will they survive the experiment?
Krosoczka, Jarrett. The Lunch Lady series
Serving justice . . . and lunch! Hector, Terrence, and Dee have always wondered about their school lunch lady. What does she do when she isn’t dishing out the daily special? Where does she live? Does she have a lot of cats at home? Little do they know, Lunch Lady doesn’t just serve sloppy joes—she serves justice! Whatever danger lies ahead, it’s no match for LUNCH LADY! This graphic novel series is a new take on superheroes!
Palatini, Marjorie. The Zoey Zone
Meet Zoey She’s eleven. Well, almost eleven. Okay—halfway to eleven. And Zoey’s got a few problems: She has the lowest possible score on the coolability meter, a bad hair situation, and growing earlobes. What Zoey needs is a fairy godmother who can give her a very chic makeover and a seat at the primo lunch table. Will Zoey be able to pull it all off? Tune in! So far, there’s only one book (Geek Chic) but this is a projected series from a very popular picture book author.
Peirce, Lincoln. Big Nate series
Big Nate is in a class by himself! But things don’t always go your way just because you’re awesome. Nate is the classic clever kid who hates school and whose antics land him in ever-hotter water with grumbling teachers. In the first book, he gets a fortune cookie that says: “Today you will surpass all others”. So Nate spends the day trying to be the best at something…only to succeed in a truly unimaginable way! Probably Greg Helfey’s biggest competition on the book front, Nate also has several graphic novels to his credit as well! Try both formats and prepare to laugh your way through Nate’s daily adventures.
Pilkey, Dav. Captain Underpants series
Harold and George are two fourth-grade boys who write comic books and love to pull pranks. When they find themselves in big trouble with Mr. Krupp, their principal, they send for a 3-D Hypno-Ring and hypnotize Mr. Krupp, turning him into Captain Underpants, their own superhero creation! This series came way before the Wimpy Kid, but is just as funny to read after it! Also try Pilkey’s Ricky Ricotta and his Giant Robot series, Oook and Gluck, and Super Diaper Baby!
Roy, James. Max Quigley, Technically not a Bully
Max Quigley is no angel; in fact one might call him a bully. But even as he taunts “wimpy Nerdstrom,” he also begins to understand him, and a most unlikely friendship grows. In the end, Max wins readers over, keeps them laughing, shows he is capable of change, and ultimately, brings us to a better understanding of boy dynamics. This Australian import isn’t a series…yet…but we hope to see more of Max Quigley!
Russell, Rachel. Dork Diaries series
New school. New mean girl. New crush. New diary so Nikki can spill about all of it! Nikki J. Maxwell has just been awarded a scholarship to a prestigious private middle school as a part of her father’s exterminator contract. As she deals with her embarrassing parents, a crush on the hot boy, and making new friends, she details everything in her diary, along with sketches of her new life.
Vernon, Ursula. Dragonbreath series
It’s not easy for Danny Dragonbreath to be the sole mythical creature in a school for reptiles and amphibians—especially when he can’t breathe fire like other dragons. But having a unique family comes in handy sometimes, like when his sea-serpent cousin takes Danny and his best friend on a mind-boggling underwater tour, complete with vomiting sea cucumbers and giant squid. It sure beats reading the encyclopedia to research his ocean report! Danny and his friends are an irresistible set of characters who are constantly finding themselves in sticky situations!
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So if you want to laugh your way through some tricky school situations, try one of these titles. And if you have any other great suggestions, let us know! We always like to share new books…