By Noelle, Librarian Extraordinaire
Dan here – please welcome Noelle – she is, dare I say it, a Mom! This is her first of what we hope will be many posts here, because unlike me, she actually knows what she is talking about! Back to Noelle, Librarian Extraordinaire…
Do you have the Wimpy Kid blues? Have a child who refuses to read anything else? Most parents haven’t read the books, which is a good thing, because if they did, they’d probably think the main character was a jerk to his friend and a terrible role model for their kids. Then instead of being stuck with a kid who will only read one series of books, you’ll be stuck with a kid who won’t read at all.
Fear Not, Help Is On the Way!
But I am here to help! As a children’s librarian, I constantly get asked the question, “Do you have anything like Diary of a Wimpy Kid?” And once authors realized the potential gold mine of copying Jeff Kinney’s success, the answer to that question is a resounding yes! So check out some of these read-alikes and get to your local library, bookstore, or online source to try to coax your child away from the dark pit of the Wimpy Kid.
- Dear Dumb Diary series by Jim Benton. Middle schooler Jamie describes her miserable life at home and at school in her diary. Sound familiar?
- Justin Case: School, Drool and Other Daily Disasters by Rachel Vail. Justin is extremely nervous about starting school this year and keeps track of all of his trials and tribulations of elementary school in his journal.
- Hank Zipzer series by Henry Winkler (yes! The Fonz!). Follow Hank’s adventures as he navigates 4th and 5th grade, dealing with family troubles, bullies, school, dyslexia and more. Lots of funny to be had in this series—my favorite is I Got a “D” in Salami.
- Amelia’s Notebook series by Marissa Moss. The books in this series easily pre-date any of the Wimpy Kid books. Amelia keeps track of her life in what looks like a handwritten journal, complete with pictures. Hmmmm, sound familiar (again)? Once again, topics include school, dealing with an older sister, and friends.
- Big Nate: In a Class By Himself by Lincoln Peirce. Middle schooler Nate makes it a goal to get a detention from every one of his teachers in a single day. Written in that winning journal/cartoon style.
- Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise. This book is a series of letters between a classroom of kids, the school principal and an artist working out the replacement for the broken water fountain—with very different ideas of what is wanted and quite funny results. There are more books in this vein, including Regarding the Sink and Regarding the Trees.
- The Dork Diaries series by Russell Renee. Wimpy Kid for girls in middle school. Not much else to say.
- How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell. Yep, this is an oldie but a goody. Try and beat a dare to eat 15 worms in 15 different ways in 15 days. The gross out factor is awesome and the chapters are very short.
- Sideways Stories From Wayside School by Louis Sachar. These are super silly stories about a school built with one classroom per floor, 30 stories straight up, and the silly teacher in the 30th floor classroom, Mrs. Jewls. Kids have been finding this funny for years. Follow up books include Wayside School is Falling Down and Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger.
- The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger. This wins cool points for the title alone. Tommy’s friend Dwight creates an origami puppet figure of Yoda that seems to be able to tell the future! How is a 6th grade loser tapping into this power? Tommy MUST find out before he asks Yoda an all-important question. Sort of a cross between the Wimpy Kid books and Wayside School stories.
You may be asking yourself if these books are any better than the Wimpy Kid books. For the majority of these titles, I would answer yes. However, it doesn’t really matter what we think, does it?
|Noelle has been a children’s librarian for over 15 years. She’s also been a student teacher, worked as an online account manager, worked in a pet shop and as a supermarket checkout clerk, and as a dishwasher and fry cook. She is the proud mom of a beautiful daughter. You can read more of Noelle’s book reviews at Rave Reviews Log
Noelle can be reached at “Noelle @ DadDoes.Com”
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