Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Author: Jeff Kinney
Genre: Children's Humor
Year of Publication: 2008
The first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book kind of left me feeling...eh. It wasn't a really great book in my opinion. It was good, but it definitely needed something else. I suppose that getting to just hear more from Greg is making this series better for me. Once you understand Greg as a character, it becomes easier to get into and to see why its been such a popular book over the past several year. It is full of laughs, it is easy to read through, and it is just....childish fun. Greg is just as immature and ridiculous as before, but what makes him particularly funny is how justified he feels about everything he does and thinks. We as readers know its ridiculous and silly, yet he genuinely doesn't. He feels as though he has the best intentions and doesn't ever seem to catch on to what is really going on.
HOWEVER, his parents really need to double check what they're doing. Most of the time they're behaving as parents would, but then there was the party scenario. I don't want to give any spoilers, but this particular occasion falls under the "Why did you do that? That doesn't make any sense" kind of circumstance and I feel the need to point it out:
Rodrick and Greg get the house to themselves for a night and Rodrick throws a party. Greg gets tossed into and locked in the basement by Rodrick. Now, their parents know they don't get along and I'm going to assume they know how brothers are with one another. So why does Greg get punished for the party too? He couldn't stop it even if he had wanted to. As far as Greg covering for his brother being a cause for him to get punished, I don't see why anyone would want to say what happened if you're going to get massively beat up by someone years older than you who is known for having a mean streak. His parents should already be aware of that since they' have been raising them since birth. I don't like Greg being punished for circumstances beyond his control that he would get pulverized for talking about, but I can understand how parents may really act like that sometimes. I suppose I can let it slide in the long term. Its true to life if nothing else.
Sadly enough, the parents don't ever seem to get a real handle on Rodrick anyway. They definitely need a new system of discipline. Rodrick is out of hand. This book centers mainly on the relationship between Roderick and Greg. Every event that happens comes back to somehow show that the two of them simply don't get along and that they are very far from understanding one another (in short: Roderick is a butt-head).
Overall, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is hilarious. It has a lot of funny moments and nothing really drags on longer than it should. Its full of zany antics and childhood ridiculousness, yet still just as quick and easy to read as the first one, due to its epistolary format and font. I have to give it a 4 out of 5. I hear its pretty good for reluctant readers and the way my little sister has been tearing through them, I absolutely have to agree.