Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Module 13 Graphic Novels and Series Books

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw 

by Jeff Kinney


Greg Heffley is always getting into trouble.  And to make matters worse things never go his way.   Greg receives silly gifts for his birthday, his brother constantly picks on him, and he simply can’t please his father.  Greg is forced into doing his own laundry and decides it would be better to wear dirty clothes.  When his father hears how well boarding school helped a neighbor Greg agrees to join the soccer team in order to please his dad.  It turns out sports aren’t his area of expertise either.  Later, Greg accidentally distracts party goers.  This allows his father to leave the party early and Greg ends the novel in his father’s good graces.   

Bibliographic Citation

Kinney, J. (2009). Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw. New York: Amulet Books.

My Impressions of the Book

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw is a fun read.  It actually falls into the category illustrated novel not a graphic novel.  The humor in the novel stems from Greg’s inability to take responsibility for anything.  So many of the bad situations he finds himself in are the direct result of his poor choices or outright laziness.  


Greg Heffley's crazy antics continue in this latest installment in the series. Kinney portrays humorous and touching family dynamics between the boy and his competitive father, whom he seems to disappoint numerous times. The fast-paced narrative successfully balances Greg's home and school life, revealing an egocentric yet lovable character. As in the previous books, cartoons and journal entries blend seamlessly to convey Greg's middle school angst. His uncanny ability to fall into amusing predicaments will win even more converts to this popular series. His witty voice coupled with memorable characterization will have this offering flying off the shelves.-Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC

Smith, M. (2009, April 1). Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw. [Review of the book Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by J. Kinney]. School Library Journal, 137.

Ideas for Library Use

Pairing graphics and text makes for a fun read.  Challenge students to create their own graphic or illustrated novel.  The winner could be featured on the library website.

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