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!