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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

Second Book in Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Cover art of Diary of a Wimpy Kid Roderick Rules by Jeff Kinney a funny book for middle school
Amulet Books, An Imprint of Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
The same tweens and teens who made Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney, a bestseller wanted more. They got it with the second and third books in the very funny Diary of a Wimpy Kid series - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw.

What Makes the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series so Popular?

What has made the series so popular? I think it’s the emphasis on concerns that tweens and teens actually have, presented with hyperbole and a very funny perspective, that of the main character, Greg Heffley, who narrates the story through his diary entries. Kids really identify with Greg, a goofy, self-centered and funny middle schooler who deals with a variety of problems, many of his own making.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules: The Format

The format of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is the same as the first book. Lined pages and Greg's pen and ink sketches and cartoons really make the book seem like an actual diary, or as Greg would emphasize, “a journal.” Greg is still not the poster boy for the perfect kid, but that adds to the fun as he suffers the consequences of some of his poor choices.

The Story

Middle schooler Greg Heffley's diary starts with summer and the misery of being on the swim team (his father's idea). His friend Rowley has gone on another exciting vacation that Greg doesn't want to hear about. His little brother, Manny, and his parents are still tending to drive him crazy.

However, Greg's biggest problem is his big brother, Rodrick. Rodrick “rules” because he "is the only one who knows about this REALLY embarrassing thing that happened to me over the summer, and he's been holding it over my head ever since." Despite this worry, Greg continues on his goofy way, dealing with school, bullies, homework, and family, especially Rodrick.

Ultimately, the secret gets out. However, due to all the changes in the description of Greg’s secret as it passes from person to person, it’s no longer something that is an embarrassment to Greg.

Despite all the teasing that goes on between Greg and his brother, they still care for one another. By the book's end, when push comes to shove, Greg has set aside his animosity and tries to help Rodrick when he needs it.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules: My Recommendation

While you don't have to read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid to enjoy Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, I would recommend readers doing so. Building on their knowledge of Greg and his family and friends from the first book to each succeeding book will maximize their enjoyment. I recommend Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules for tweens (8-12 years old) and younger teens. Because of its humor and its format, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules also appeals, as does the rest of the series, to many reluctant readers. (Amulet Books, An Imprint of Harry N. Abrams, Inc.2008. ISBN: 9780810994737)

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