Sunday, December 23, 2012

All Everyone Wants for Christmas-- The Third Wheel

The Third Wheel (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #7)Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel
13 November 2012, Amulet Books
Copy provided by YABC and reviewed there.

Greg is back, and his life is as complicated as ever. His Uncle Gary has moved in with the family and is sleeping on the couch, and Manny is as obnoxious as ever. When the student council is replaced because no one attended meetings, Greg talks Rowley in to running for social committee chairman. He wins, and plans get under way for a dance. Greg would like to ask someone, but he manages to irritate every girl in whom he is interested. Finally, he and Rowley decide to go as a "group of friends" with Abigail, but the dance ends in disaster as senior citizens take over the hall, a chicken pox epidemic takes off, and Abigail decides that she prefers Rowley.

Strengths: I haven't been the most enormous fan of Greg, since the first several books made me want to slap him. He made many of his own problems. In this book, however, he's a bit more like Big Nate-- he is trying his best, but his good intentions invariably end badly. This is very true to the actions of most middle school students, so they can definitely identify!

If your own personal child is a fan of these, I would recommend buying the entire set in hard cover. In thirty years, there won't be any holdings in libraries, most of them will have fallen apart, and all of the grown ups looking for nostalgia will want these. This is why I have 50 of the 54 Animorphs books in my attic!

Weaknesses: The first 40 pages or so were taken up with back story of Greg's childhood antics. This was interesting, but I kept waiting for the plot to emerge.

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts. Both sites have lots of links to reviews about books that are great for the 4th through 8th grader. It's also Nonfiction Monday, hosted this week at Jean Little Library.

While I thought that winter break should be a two week long reading marathon, both the younger and older generations in my family think that my time is better spent cooking, coordinating presents, and cleaning house. I have posts up until 3 January, and promised Picky Reader a Gene Kelly movie marathon, so have a feeling that very little reading will get done in the next week.

And Cybil's short list chat on Thursday. Deep breaths. The first round panelists have been fantastic to work with, so it should go smoothly despite my incipient panic!



Mary in Maryland said...

Thank you for your faithful blogging. Your book reviews are such a help to those of us trying to make appropriate selections for our MS libraries. You've earned a break! Have a great holiday.

Ms. O said...

I haven't read a WK since ... Dog Days, I think. Can't bear to. But you're right. They WILL all have fallen apart.

Debating my reading marathon. Eyes are always bigger than the real thing. Plus I swore I was going to be better at exercise (2012--well, and the last three months of 2011--the year I let 40 plus pounds creep back on :X) this break. So ... we'll see!

One day I'll be like you and write USEFUL/THOUGHTFUL reviews besides just "I liked it" or "I didn't." Though wow. Pre-written that far ahead? BRAVO.

maria.selke said...

My students always love Wimpy Kid. I'm a bit "meh" on them.... but if it gets kids to read? All good.

Brenda said...

Enjoy your break and have a very Happy Holidays.

Kathryn Trask said...

I was surprised at how popular Whimpy Kid is with my students, I am going to buy the series for those who haven't read them, some of my 'find it hard to get books to suit kids.' I must give them a read as well, not so sure about the hardback though. Bit expensive for my pocket!

Ms. Yingling said...

The paperback was $8.50 USD through my Scholastic book fair, but the hard cover (paper over board- horrible) was $7.24USD on Amazon when I looked. It's the same cost differential as the Lemony Snicket books, which I can now buy at the used book store for one dollar!

The Brain Lair (KB) said...

I started out loving the Wimpy Kid series but after the Ugly Truth, it stated to to feel repetitive. Students still love Greg though so I continue to purchase it for the library but look forward to the series ending and spending money on something new!

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