When a child finds "that" book that he connects with, he can get hooked on reading. For many independent readers "that" book is Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. It's been known to have turned many reluctant readers into avid readers.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid chronicles the life of an average middle-schooler: not the biggest, strongest, or the most popular kid in the classroom. Your reader gets thrown into the silly antics of Greg Heffley as he mazes through popularity, growing pains and a love-hate relationship with his diary. The book has the look and feel of a real journal, complete with cartoon doodles and sketches that are sure to entice even the most reluctant reader. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
If your kids enjoy Diary of a Wimpy Kid and you want to fuel that newfound love of reading check out these read-alikes.
1. In the three books in A Box of Clementines paperback set — Clementine, The Talented Clementine, and Clementine's Letter — by Sara Pennypacker, we meet a spunky third-grade girl named Clementine. Her challenges range from making good choices in book one, to worrying about a school performance in book two, and dealing with her teacher leaving the school in book three. But, Clementine perseveres through all the rough spots. Recommended for ages 6 and up.
2. Big Nate #1: Big Nate in a Class By Himself by Lincoln Peirce has the same look of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, with cartoon illustrations sprinkled throughout the book, and the main character portrayed as a middle school boy. Nate knows that he is destined for greatness. He just needs to muddle through to figure out what that greatness will be in his life. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
3. Frindle by Andrew Clements is the story of Nick Allen and his idea to spice things up at school. He decides to make up a new word. So, he calls a pen a "frindle." The word catches on and pretty soon the school, his town, and beyond are using his word. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
4. Wayside School Boxed Set by Louis Sachar shines a light on a very unusual school. Imagine a school that rises 30 stories high. There are many peculiar and hilarious things that happen in this school from kids being turned into apples to a boy being stuck to his seat with chewing gum. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
5. Meet Danny Shine in The Loser List by H.N. Kowitt. Danny is picked on in middle school until everyone finds out he can draw. He then becomes "cool" and is encouraged to do graffiti, draw tattoos, and other questionable things. Will he be able to break away from his new mischievous crowd of friends? Recommended for ages 9 and up.
6. Swindle by Gordon Korman, is full of action and intrigue. Griffin Bing has just been tricked and Swindle has made off with his valuable baseball card. Now, Griffin has to get it back and that means sneaking into Swindle's compound. Recommended for ages 9 and up.
7. The opening scene of Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson & Chris Tebbetts begins in the back of a police car. Rafe has a goal for his first year of middle school. He wants to break every rule in the Code of Conduct. But, will Rafe realize his plan might not be the best idea? Recommended for ages 9 and up.
8. School life from the perspective of an eighth-grade girl is what you will find in Dork Diaries 1: Tales from a Not–So–Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell. Nikki has moved to a fancy new school and things aren't easy. Her diary shares the ups and downs of friendships, crushes, and siblings. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
Your kids will enjoy these books about kids navigating the world of school, friends, and family.