DIARY OF A WIMPY KID Movie Poster and Photo

Sandrine Sahakians

Sandrine has been a film lover for as long as she can remember. From actions films to rom com to indies, Sandrine pretty much enjoys every type of films, apart from horror movies. She’s always on the lookout for great films suggestions and is open to try anything… that is except for horror films ;)

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  • Wes

    My family is very excited about this movie. We’ve all read the books, they are sure to make anybody laugh out loud!

  • http://www.childrensbooksandreviews.com/ Aaron Mead

    While I agree that this was a funny book–and the movie probably will be too–I’m actually pretty worried about it as something that shapes the character of children. The central problem is that Kinney has us laughing at—and so wanting more of, and implicitly approving of—the mean things Heffley says and does, and his self-serving attitudes. The question is, should tweens—whose moral character is in relatively early stages of formation—be laughing at these things? My worry here is that the book just reinforces, and subtly leads us to approve of, a certain self-centered negativity that ought to be purged of pre-teens, not anchored all the more deeply via repeated and pleasurable reinforcement.

    Okay, okay, I hear the objections already: “Isn’t this just puritanical paranoia? What’s wrong with a little frivolous fun? Couldn’t the book just be like junk food, i.e., okay once in while but not as one’s steady diet?” Reply: there is nothing wrong with frivolous fun. The problem is, reading books like this isn’t frivolous fun. Think of it this way: as a parent, would you like your son to be best friends with Greg Heffley? My answer is clearly, “No.” Why? Because our friends influence who we become, the choices we make, the attitudes we take—in short, our character—and I do not want my kids to have Heffley’s character. And I don’t think it is a reach to say that the characters in books we enjoy become our friends for a season—and perhaps for a long and influential season if the book is one in a series. (Hence the disanalogy with junk food: if you buy this book for your kids, they will “eat” it all the time.) Indeed, I know people who have become more emotionally attached to fictional characters than they are to the real people in their lives. So, while it is funny, I think we also need to consider whether it is good for children.

    Final objection: “This book can help non-readers—particularly boys—to become readers.” While I agree that non-readers may well read Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the question is, what exactly does that accomplish? I’m skeptical that such a book is going to help any child graduate to literature that is actually worth reading. By my lights, this book is no better than a funny but corrosive TV show in that respect (though it is considerably more creative than most TV shows). If we want to help non-readers to become readers—an extremely worthwhile goal—we need to do better than Diary of a Wimpy Kid.