The worldwide children’s literary phenomenon Diary of a Wimpy Kid just keeps growing and growing. With this new release, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End, there are now 15 books in the series, plus spin-off books, merchandise, movies and more!
Following on from the disastrous events of Diary of a Wimpy Kid #14 Wrecking Ball, Greg Heffley and his family are living with his grandmother while massive renovations are underway at their home. It’s not ideal: Greg and his brothers have plenty to complain about. Greg’s uncle has left behind a campervan which the Heffleys decide to borrow so they can take a break from the cramped quarters of Grandma’s basement.
Greg isn’t an outdoor type, so he approaches this adventure with some caution, especially when he learns about bears, insects and the need for rescue flares. In fact, the family have never been camping before so there is a lot to learn, which leads to hilarious scenarios usually with hapless Greg at the centre of the issues.
After a few inappropriate campsites and “bear-ly” escaping the wrath of a grizzly and a Forest Ranger, they find an idyllic lakeside family adventure park where they settle in and make some friends, and enemies. Greg just wants to chill out with some screen time, but his mother has other ideas and so the family end up participating in various outdoor pursuits, with hilarious outcomes.
Just when Greg thinks it can’t get worse the rain starts. With the smell of skunk invading every part of their lives the family goes into survival mode and make some rash decisions. Jeff Kinney ramps up the hilarity at this point and an unlikely hero saves the day.
Jeff Kinney is a talented cartoonist, and his illustrations add a lot of humour to the story. They are also a helpful tool for independent readers, assisting them to imagine the action taking place and providing context. There’s also a level various levels of humour at play here, and adults might get a few extra laughs.
The real charm of Greg Heffley is that we can all relate to his awkwardness and anxiety. He’s a dreamer and he’s forever hopeful. I love how the illustrations show us what Greg imagines when his mother talks about an adventure holiday – hang-gliding, bungee jumping – when it’s more likely to be wildlife bingo and marshmallow burns.
Readers 10+ will enjoy the humour, pathos and mayhem of this book. The story is easy to follow and there is no need to read the other books in the series in order, though I can highly recommend all of them. Millions of fans can’t be wrong!
Read more about the whole series: https://www.betterreading.com.au/book_list/world-wide-phenomenon-hits-bookstores/