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Diary of a Wimpy Kid #7: The Third Wheel: Jeff Kinney

Book: Diary of a Wimpy Kid #7: The Third Wheel
Author: Jeff Kinney
Pages: 224
Age Range: 8 and up 

The seventh Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, The Third Wheel, made me laugh aloud several times. Like the other books in the series, The Third Wheel doesn't follow a particularly linear plotline. The "third wheel" aspect of the book (involving a Valentine's Day Dance, a girl, and Greg's best friend) only directly comes into play quite late in the book. But it doesn't matter. Time spent peeking into Greg Heffley's diary is always entertaining. Some highlights that struck me from this installment included:

  • Greg's memories from back before he was born (already capable of being embarrassed by his mother).
  • The fact that Greg spent the first few months of his life sleeping in a dresser drawer ("which I'm pretty sure isn't even legal"). 
  • The location that baby Greg found to hide the batteries for the TV remote ("when you're a baby, you can't really get around a lot, so there was only one place I could hide the batteries.")
  • When Greg drove his father so crazy during Bring Your Child to Work Day that he was sent off to sit somewhere else, and ended up forgotten and left at work.
  • A "pantsing" epidemic among the boys at the middle school. 
  • A bizarre "bring your own toilet paper" fad at the middle school.

I think the reason that these books work so well is that although the incidents are over-the-top, there's an underpinning of universal behavior that comes through. The Wimpy Kid books will always be among my favorites, because I've known kids who were turned on to reading for the first time by Greg's exploits. I also think that there's a fair amount of humor in these books for adults, making these fun read-together books (or read in parallel, anyway) for the whole family.

The sketch-filled diary format has become fairly widespread in children's books, of course, but Jeff Kinney launched the craze, and remains a master at it. I found Diary of a Wimpy Kid #7: The Third Wheel to be a worthy installment of the series, a laugh-out-loud read for kids and adults. Recommended! (And no particular need to read the books in order, I don't think). 

Publisher: Amulet Books (@AbramsKids)
Publication Date: November 13,2012
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

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