Now don't get me wrong, Jeff Kinney totally gets awkward preteen/teenage boys! And I'd watch these kids, usually boys, curl up and chuckle away at their antics in each of these books. Nothing wrong with that!
But that got me thinking about the "BIG" change I went through this year (no, not that one, been there, done that!) I mean the one where I read a comment by one of my Reading heroes, Donalynn Miller that changed my way of thinking. She said something like this (and I paraphrase)...."Hey Dummy! Stop thinking that because kids are reading graphic novels they're not reading. You read books of all kinds, why can't they?"
Her words were a little more eloquent. But that got me thinking about what else I have in my classroom library for kids for whom these books are a good fit. These are the ones I have:
These fly off my shelves almost as quickly as the Wimpy Kid books do. And even though I have doubles of most of these, someone's usually waiting for the next one to be returned.
Janet Tashjian has written a series of these - My Life as a Book, My Life as a Joke, and My Life as a Stuntboy. I manage to lose at least one copy of these every year. Guess that means that someone's enjoying them!
This series - there are at least ten now - feels to me like the "girls' version" of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I don't mean to give these a gender, but I don't ever see any boys reading this series, although I do see a number of girls reading Wimpy Kid.
This trio of books by Raina Telgemeier flew off my shelves when I finally bought them this past year. The girls (and a few boys) handed them back and forth, promising to finish one overnight so the next person could read it. They loved them and wanted to know if Telgemeier would write more like this. Smile and Sisters are more connected than Drama, but that didn't stop anyone from reading all three.
And finally, this one, which I found a really touching and thoughtful read, about a girl who is deaf and has to wear a rather large and bulky hearing aid which makes her feel very self-conscious. Lots of kids read this one too.
So, how about you? What do you give your Diary of a Wimpy Kid readers to read after they finish those books?