Last Straw
by Kinney, Jeff

Middle-schooler Greg Heffley nimbly sidesteps his father's attempts to change Greg's wimpy ways until his father threatens to send him to military school.

Jeff Kinney is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and five-time Nickelodeon Kids&; Choice Award winner for Favorite Book. Jeff has been named one of Time magazine&;s 100 Most Influential People in the World. He is also the creator of Poptropica, which was named one of Time magazine&;s 50 Best Websites. He spent his childhood in the Washington, D.C., area and moved to New England in 1995. Jeff lives with his wife and two sons in Plainville, Massachusetts, where he owns a bookstore, An Unlikely Story.

For those wondering why tween boys don t read very much, the answer is that more books aren t like this. In this third (but not last, despite the subtitle s inference) series entry, Greg Heffley, the Georgia Nicolson of American middle-school males, is just trying to get through life. In hilarious diary entries, he details his attempts to get along with his brothers; a potential romance; and his dad s futile efforts to turn him into a jock, which reinforce Kinney s well-realized theme that grown-ups just don t get it. While diary may not be the most macho term, as Greg will be the first to tell you, the format certainly hooks the target audience with its printlike font, straightforward language, and copious cartoons. As the book opens, Greg is eschewing New Year s resolutions: "It s not easy for me to think of ways to improve myself, because I m already pretty much one of the best people I know." And while it is clear to all that he is no saint, he is real, and many kids will agree with that self-assessment. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

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