Beth and Chrissi Do Kid Lit- Diary of A Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #1)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.

In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion.

Author/illustrator Jeff Kinney recalls the growing pains of school life and introduces a new kind of hero who epitomizes the challenges of being a kid. As Greg says in his diary, “Just don’t expect me to be all ‘Dear Diary’ this and ‘Dear Diary’ that.” Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won’t do and what he actually does are two very different things.

Since its launch in May 2004 on Funbrain.com, the Web version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been viewed by 20 million unique online readers. This year, it is averaging 70,000 readers a day.

Thoughts:

This book is so popular right now in schools, so when we decided to add some modern Kid Lit to our challenge, I immediately thought of this book. I can understand why it’s so popular with young children. I think it’s relatable to many children and I can imagine that many reluctant readers would enjoy this book which also uses cartoons! It’s an easy to read book which has some wonderfully humorous moments.

Diary of A Wimpy Kid didn’t take me long to read at all. It’s in a short diary entry format, so for more relectuant or slower readers, it’s bite sized and easy to digest. I thought it was chatty and fun to read for young children. Greg writes about his life, family and school.

I didn’t think he was a particularly likeable character, but that could be because this book isn’t aimed at me. I just found him to be a bad friend. I don’t know, perhaps this will improve with the series, but I don’t think it’s a series I will continue to read. I’m glad it’s on my radar to use with young children though.

I know the children that have read this book are lapping up the series and I’m pleased it’s inspiring children to read.

For Beth’s review please check out her blog HERE

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Reading next in the Beth and Chrissi Do Kid Lit Challenge (April):
Flour Babies- Anne Fine

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Beth and Chrissi Do Kid Lit- Pollyanna

Pollyanna (Pollyanna, #1)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

When orphaned 11-year-old Pollyanna comes to live with austere and wealthy Aunt Polly, her philosophy of gladness brings happiness to her aunt and other members of the community, somewhat to their surprise.

Thoughts:

Pollyanna was originally published in 1913. It’s a book I was always conscious of, yet never read as a child. I read it for the first time in 2011 and remembered it fondly when I reread it for this challenge. Pollyanna is a sweet book, which is easy to read. It does have a moral to it, much like many books of its era. I do wonder if it now comes across as a little too preachy and sickly sweet, but as a children’s book- I think it’s a decent read.

If you’re not familiar with the story of Pollyanna then I shall briefly describe it. Pollyanna is a young, always optimistic girl. She is orphaned and sent to live with her Aunt. Pollyanna’s outlook on life changes the lives of others. Pollyanna always tries to find the ‘glad’ moment in everything. Terrible things can happen, but Pollyanna always looks at how it can be used in an optimistic way to make you grateful for everything you have.

As I mentioned, I think many adults would find Pollyanna’s message quite hard to swallow. There are times in life when you do want to grumble and moan. It gets things off your chest and feels good sometimes!

I think Pollyanna means well though. It definitely reminds readers that not a lot can be gained from being horrible to others. A good, positive message to give to young children.

For Beth’s wonderful review, please check out her blog HERE

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Reading next for the Beth and Chrissi do Kid Lit Challenge:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid- Jeff Kinney

Beth and Chrissi Do Kid Lit- Five Children and It

Five Children and It (Five Children, #1)

How did I get it?:
Downloaded free for my Kindle!

Synopsis:

The five children find a cantankerous sand fairy or ‘psammead’ in a gravel pit. Every day ‘It’ will grant each of them a wish that lasts until sunset, often with disastrous consequences.

Thoughts:

I can’t believe that I hadn’t read this book! Beth picked this book for us to read after finding out about it late last year. I think it’s an absolutely charming book, but The Railway Children still remains my favourite out of the books that I have read from this author.

This book follows five children and the Psammead (a fairy) who grants them their wishes. Through short chapters, it explores the children’s adventure. The moral of this story is very much ‘Be careful what you wish for’. This is a great topic to discuss with young children and I imagine children might enjoy predicting what was going to happen! Five Children and It is an incredibly imaginative story, and whilst parts of it feel rather dated, I could let that go and enjoy the story for what it was.

Although I enjoyed reading Five Children and It, I felt like the ending was a little rushed and not really thought through which lead to me giving this book three stars instead of four. I was surprised to find out that there are more books in this series, but I personally won’t be continuing on with it!

For Beth’s brilliant review, check out her blog HERE

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Reading next for the Kid-Lit Challenge:
Pollyanna- Eleanor H.Porter

Talking About our Kid-Lit Challenge 2014

So, in the style of the “Talking About…” reviews we normally do, we thought we’d answer a quick few questions about our second year of blogging in Kid-Lit.

1) What was your favourite Kid-Lit book of 2014 and why?

BETH: I am totally torn between three… Little Women, Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden. I was delighted to find that I loved all three as an adult as much (if not more) than I loved them as a child. Little Women is an undeniable classic, Anne is just one of those characters you completely fall in love with and I love the style of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s storytelling.

CHRISSI: Little Women. When Little Women is an option out of books, I’m always going to mention it. Oh yes!

2) What was your least favourite Kid-Lit book of 2014 and why?

BETH: I think it would have to be The Swiss Family Robinson I’m afraid. I was bitterly disappointed with this book and expected so much more from it. Some passages sent me into complete boredom and it felt slightly too “preachy” for my liking.

CHRISSI: I’m the same as Beth for this answer. Unfortunately I found The Swiss Family Robinson DIRE! Such a shame.

3) What was the Kid-Lit book that surprised you the most?

BETH: Perhaps The Magician’s Nephew. This was one of my old favourites from childhood (along with the rest of the Narnia series) and there were whole parts of the story that I had forgotten so it was exciting to re-read and remember them all over again.

CHRISSI: Anne of Green Gables. I hadn’t read it prior to this challenge and I was surprised at how charming it was.

4) Have you been inspired to read any other books from a Kid-Lit author of 2013?

BETH: Once again, the writing of Frances Hodgson Burnett has made me long to read another of her books – perhaps we can put her on the list for 2016 Chrissi? Otherwise, I think I’m definitely going to read The Making Of A Marchioness this year.

CHRISSI: Oh yes. Let’s read more of Frances Hodgson Burnett! ❤

For our 2015 picks, please check out this post!