Why I Have Nothing Against Diary of a Wimpy Kid


Why I Let My Kids Read Diary of a Wimpy Kid


"How do you feel about Diary of a Wimpy Kid books?"

I posed that question to  the blog Facebook community recently (at the same time confessing that my children read the books).

I jokingly told my husband as I was posting the picture of the books on the night stand, "This might be controversial.".

That was an understatement.

*This post contains affliate links.

How do I approach this delicately? I certainly don't want to offend anyone... I value each and every reader, but I know from time to time we will disagree. 

We all come from different areas, backgrounds, and schooling styles.

Some of us are blessed with avid readers, others have struggling readers.

Some of us educate classically, while others unschool. 

The beauty of it is -- NO ONE IS RIGHT AND NO ONE IS WRONG. 

Consider the variety of comments I got:

"I don't love them but I consider them my son's "just for fun" reading. I figure it's ok to have some silly easy reading if it is balanced with higher quality literature. And I'd rather him read those than ask to play video games."

"A waste of time. Stick to living books, classics... I love good humor-this is NOT it."

"My son loves them. He is six years old and we just finished a read aloud of one the books, and he was so excited to check out another one at the library. He even made his own diary and is writing in it daily. We think the books are funny, and it got my son excited about both reading and writing."

If you're shaking your head right now because I allow my children to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid, I understand. Really, I do.

I'm sure some of you are disappointed in my decision to let my children read these books. How could this classical, homeschooling mom allow her children to read such sub par literature?

Again, it's ok. I understand. (I'm learning, the older I get, that many times being so judgemental comes back to bite you.)

I have been the mom who didn't let her 4 year old watch Arthur because I thought he was disrespectful. I am the mom who had her first grader stop reading Junie B. Jones books because said child started acting like Junie B. 

I am the mom who doesn't allow a lot of pop music or cable television.

I'm pretty conservative; definitely very cautious about what my children watch and read.

Lately, however, I'm learning to LIGHTEN UP. There are so many important battles to be fought, and the battle over a somewhat snarky (albeit very funny) diary of a quirky middle school boy just isn't one of them.

How Diary of a Wimpy Kid Inspired My Child

My son is a good reader. He didn't, however, LIKE reading until his sister introduced him to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. She had the brilliant idea to give him one of her books to read and she assured me he would love reading THESE books.

She gifted him a book and a Diary of a Wimpy Kid Uno game for his birthday. It was his favorite present. 

My son giggled his head off. He began keeping his own diary (complete with dialogue and all of the punctuation marks in the correct place). He helped a friend of his who was a struggling reader read the book.

Thank you, Jeff Kinney! 

Thank you for making reading FUN. Thank you for inspiring writing. Thank you for bringing my children together. Thank you for making them laugh. Thank you for giving parents an insight into the brains of children, and thank you for not making us take ourselves so seriously.

Thank you for making this mom (who was admittedly a stick in the mud) see that a little bit of fun -- and maybe a tad of crude boy humor -- is OK. In fact, it's brilliant. 

We've especially enjoyed the Wimpy Kid Do It Yourself Book - this fill in the blank book was such fun! 

I love what a librarian said about why they stock the shelves with Greg Kinney's books:

 It will remain a firm favourite with the sevens and up of both sexes and will continue to make me feel old, because I just don’t get it.  They are good books for newly confident readers, with lots of blank space, simple text and plenty of drawings. There are no difficult concepts or words and a confident reader will finish this in a few hours and feel that they have tackled something worthwhile because it is in a proper novel format. It is great for reluctant readers and very manageable for children who you want to push but who aren’t quite ready for full on novels yet.

Isn't It Twaddle?

Yes. Diary of a Wimpy Kid is "twaddle".  

Don't we all, however, take part in twaddle every now and then? 

I don't know about you, but I have my "serious" reading and my "fluff" reading. 

I find it interesting that Jeff Kinney was a fan of Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and Tolkien. That's a diverse list of authors. 

We're studying metaphors right now in Essentials, so here goes:

I enjoy eating healthy foods and believe a steady diet of them is preferable, but there are just certain times when a big MILKSHAKE tastes so good.  I will indulge my children in a milkshake every now and then, but I am certainly not going to feed them a milkshake every time we sit down to eat. 



The point is: give your children a steady diet of what is noble and true and GOOD FOR THEM, but don't keep them from every single thing you might have a little disagreement with.  (Every kid deserves a milkshake every now and then. Pick your battles. )

You could have a real mess on your hands if you hold so tightly to your ideals that your children rebel completely. (They might go off to college and eat milkshakes for dinner every night - you never know!)

Our Approach to Reading

First and foremost, my children are always exposed to beautiful literature. 

We have been reading aloud since birth, and our curriculum calls for the finest literature. Our booklist for Classical Conversations Cycle 3 and Challenge B is proof of that. 

My 13 year old readily chooses beautiful literature for herself. I don't ever have to tell her to read. If anything, I have to ask her to STOP reading and complete her school work! 

Each day Grant reads at least 30 minutes independently. He doesn't fight me on it, rather he enjoys reading, and I attribute this to the fact that I give him some freedom to read things OTHER than assigned things for school.


It's important to know your child - know what makes them tick and what interests them. 

{Check out  10 Books That Get Boys Interested In Reading if you want to learn more.}

Somebody left this comment:  "Why would you want to undo all of the work you do in CC Essentials by letting them read Diary of a Wimpy Kid?"  

This doesn't worry me a bit. There are different types of writing for different situations in life. Hopefully my children can be discerning, and I'm always coming alongside them to help in that process.  I don't feel like I'm undoing anything... you can't compare oranges to apples.


If you don't like Diary of a Wimpy Kid... 

We can agree to disagree.

I don't particularly LIKE IT, either, but I can appreciate it the way my kids do.

I also appreciate that my Facebook community engaged in a civil discourse. Oh, there was some heated debate, but in the end I feel like it was a balanced discussion. 

Goodness - if  Diary of a Wimpy Kid caused such debate, I wonder what will happen when I tell you my children have both read the Harry Potter series?  


I'd love to hear from you (but please be respectful)... have your children read Diary of a Wimpy Kid