Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Diary of a Wimpy Kid : Cabin Fever - Jeff Kinney

Summary:  Greg Heffley is in big trouble.  School property has been damaged, and Greg is the prime suspect.  But the crazy thing is, he's innocent.  Or at least sort of.

The authorities are closing in, but when a surprise blizzard hits, the Heffley family is trapped indoors.  Greg knows that when the snow melts he's going to have to face the music, but could any punishment be worse than being stuck inside with your family for the holidays?  (Summary from back of the book and image from http://bookboxdaily.scholastic.com/)

My Review:  I think this installment of the Wimpy Kid series falls in line perfectly with the others.  You still have the self-absorbed, gain-seeking, adolescent boy finding himself in situations he's either managed to get himself in or have thrust upon him.  His reactions to the situations are what make Greg unique.  Maybe a preteen could guess what he'd do, but as an adult his decisions can be baffling.  I think there may be more drawings in this book than in the previous five, which I'm sure will appeal to struggling readers.

My personal opinion is that Greg's irritating, whiny, and selfish, but that doesn't change that he's relateable to my students, especially the boys.  If I had a choice of books, I'd probably not pick this up -- I read these to connect with my students and know what they're so enthralled with.  If I had to get a kid to start actually reading a book for an extended period of time, I would definitely offer this as a choice.  Not because I like it, but because I know it's a first step to enjoying books.

I have to mention one of my biggest gripes with the book: over and over again Greg writes in his journal using "Me and my brother" instead of "my brother and I."  Anyone who values grammar knows this is frustrating.  Combine this with the knowledge that your students are reading, repeatedly, an incorrect sentence, obviously thinking it's correct because it's in print.  It's enough to make any English teacher spiral into a conniption fit and it bugged me -- big time.

Rating: 3 stars--mostly because I know it gets kids reading.  I personally don't enjoy them much.

Sum it up: A cooped up saga of a self-absorbed kid.

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