Old School
by Kinney, Jeff

When his town voluntarily unplugs and goes electronics-free, Greg misses the comforts and conveniences of modern life.

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.

Greg Heffley is kicking it old school in the newest addition to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series-though not by choice. As has come to be expected, his candid diary account of his day-to-day experiences is filled with humor and comic doodles. Prime among his observations is that grown-ups are convinced life was much better when they were kids. But Greg can't figure out what was so great about it. No one ever smiles in old-timey photos; there was no air-conditioning or baby wipes; and everyone thought Kick the Can was actually fun. What's more, his mom has organized a technology-free weekend for the neighborhood, filled with community service activities. (Greg's disastrous attempt at selling lemonade and his evasion of park clean-up duties are sure to garner laughs.) The highlight, however, is his class trip to Hardscrabble Farms for a week in the woods. Mishaps galore and a chilling rumor make for a highly entertaining, and fairly smelly, foray into the great outdoors and, thankfully, back home to modern comforts. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

The Wimpy Kid series marches on.Greg Heffley's diary continues with the 10th entry in the popular franchise. This volume revolves around several loosely connected plot threads, the most prominent of which is Greg's grandfather's coming to live with the Heffley clan and the hilarity that ensues. Other plots involve Rodrick's first job, Mrs. Heffley's determination to turn the town into an electronics-free zone, and a trip to Hardscrabble Farms, the traditional field trip location for the seventh-grade class. The novel definitely lacks focus, but how many seventh-grader's diaries come with a complex narrative arc? Greg's rambling, irreverent musings coupled with his doodles maintain their charm even after so many years, and at this point fans of the series know what they're getting. The novel delivers the series' trademark family dynamics and absurdist comic stylings. Fans will chortle at the Heffley's pet pig, which wears pants, and smile as Greg and his dad come to an underst anding over the pitfalls of camp life. By novel's end the characters have returned to their status quo and are ready for further comic mishaps. These diaries continue to be solid steppingstones into the literary world for any reluctant reader.Harmless fun that neither rocks the boat nor swings for the fences. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2015 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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