What are your views on The Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-12-2014, 07:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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... for a 1st grader? A mom of an older kid told me that she didn't let her ds read it. I don't remember her argument but anyways, she thought it sent a wrong message to kids. Dd said that some kids in class had read it or were reading it. I didn't know that the class actually had copies of it until recently when the teacher mentioned it.


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Old 02-12-2014, 08:55 AM
 
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I think they are gross and kind of dumb.  I also think if your kid gets used to reading dumb, obvious books then they don't want to work a little harder and read more challenging books.  I've seen it with my own kid.  She was reading them at school for AR credit (they are below her level but her teacher allows everyone to read certain series books) and after about six of them, it was like her brain didn't know how to read something that didn't have pictures and lists every few pages.  I don't think they're harmful in content or message, they just set the bar really REALLY low.

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Old 02-12-2014, 09:16 AM
 
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I'm in favor of my kid reading.  I'm even more in favor of him reading for fun, and choosing his own reading material, and being enthusiastic about it.  There are issues that would lead me to intervene, but Diary of a Wimpy Kid thus far has not raised those issues. 

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Old 02-12-2014, 09:23 AM
 
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I mostly agree but (and I hate this), my daughter's time after school is limited and her AR goal is high.  The level of book she's supposed to read is well above her own grade level.  She gets a pass on Wimpy Kid books because they're a popular series, but the points are low and she wants to read other "easy" books.  I am forever trying to guide her towards books that are interesting and count toward her AR goal.  It's a constant struggle.  In the summer?  Whatever she wants!  I hate that it has to be like this, but oh the tears if she were to get a B in reading because she didn't meet her AR goal (she is way more invested in grades than I am).

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Old 02-12-2014, 10:41 AM
 
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I'm in favor of my kid reading.  I'm even more in favor of him reading for fun, and choosing his own reading material, and being enthusiastic about it.  There are issues that would lead me to intervene, but Diary of a Wimpy Kid thus far has not raised those issues. 

This.  I agree with this.  All my kids were fans of the Dairy of a Wimpy Kid series.  I think they're kind of funny and we all enjoyed the movies.  Are they a complicated read?  No.  But it's no different than any other brain candy YA fiction that adults like to read (not saying brain candy books are bad.  I'm saying we should all be able to pick something enjoyable to read based solely on the fact that it is enjoyable, not necessarily on it's literary merit).


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Old 02-12-2014, 10:48 AM
 
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This.  I agree with this.  All my kids were fans of the Dairy of a Wimpy Kid series.  I think they're kind of funny and we all enjoyed the movies.  Are they a complicated read?  No.  But it's no different than any other brain candy YA fiction that adults like to read (not saying brain candy books are bad.  I'm saying we should all be able to pick something enjoyable to read based solely on the fact that it is enjoyable, not necessarily on it's literary merit).

Agreed. My daughters' both have high reading levels and my theory has always been to encourage them to read, regardless of what it is. I don't police reading levels or content, as long as they are enjoying what they read I'm happy. Of course they may not have chosen what is assigned for their reading groups at school but they understand that when it comes to homework they may not always like the book but they must read it to satisfy class requirements.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:51 AM
 
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We're not at a point in our family where some books are "assigned" or good for points, and others aren't.  If they were, I might have a talk about academic performance.  However, I would hope that conversation would work out to "you must do your homework reading" and not "you can't read X".  I see that the advanced reading level stuff might make it harder.

 

I refuse to read Wimpy Kid out loud though.  It's just not that fun for me.  We've been working our way through Ursula Vernon's Dragonbreath books, and I have to say, I love the moms in that.  (Greg's mom in Diary of a Wimpy Kid isn't bad either.  I love when she embarrasses him by joining his tabletop RPG, and gushes about what it does for his math skills.)

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Old 02-12-2014, 10:54 AM
 
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In school they have "book clubs" that are actually their reading groups so they read together and discuss daily. The books aren't always favorites of my girls but they always read what is assigned to them. Fun reading at night has no restrictions smile.gif
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:57 AM
 
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My daughter has to write a summary of a book she's reading every day for school (well, most days).  She almost always reads something short and sweet- frequently a picture book like Amelia Bedelia or something.  My older daughter, at 8 years old, would have been summarizing what she had read so far in a chapter book.  Every kid is different.  I don't police what they read, but I encourage them to try books they think they may not like.  No obligation to finish.  And I have never had to tell them to read something more challenging for their school reading.  It's been a non issue.  

But, I agree, some books are not great for reading aloud.  The Diary of a Wimpy kid series are some of those books.  I read books aloud to them that are usually above the littlest reading level or that I think they should read, but they might not on their own.  We've read almost all of Kate Dicamillo's books (Because of Winn Dixie, Despereaux, etc), Secret Garden, Christmas Carol, Journey to the Center of the Earth.  We like to read.  :)


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Old 02-12-2014, 11:56 AM
 
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Sorry!  My eyes Read Diary of a Wimpy Kid and my brain translated to Captain Underpants.  Whoops!

 

My daughter tried the first one on the recommendation of a good friend (a boy).  She didn't like it and or finish it.  I think she found all the mean kid stuff kind of stressful.  The boys in her second grade class LOOOOOVE these.  There were several Wimpy Kid character costumes on Storybook Character Day.

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Old 02-12-2014, 12:02 PM
 
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The Wimpy Kid books are about middle schoolers and there's a lot of stuff in them that first graders wouldn't relate to - about puberty, middle school meanness, etc.  Some of it might be stuff some parents would rather not have their first graders even hear about.  I was okay with my kid reading them when he was a first grader.  I don't think there's anything in there that's actually harmful for a kid that age to read.  But if I were recommending books to a first grader, these wouldn't be on my list.  They're about a 5th grade reading level, BTW, so they're not exactly brain candy for a 1st grader. 

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Old 02-12-2014, 12:28 PM
 
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My 5th grader is in the middle of this series. She migrated to Diary of a Wimpy Kid after she finished the Dork Diaries series. While the reading is easy, the subject material is older then the average 1st grader. It is right up DD1's age which is 11. My 1st grader is 7 and isn't ready for the content although she could handle the reading level. 


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Old 02-13-2014, 08:27 AM
 
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The reading level isn't high, but they are really funny. I enjoyed them myself. My child had read them all in grade 3 as the teacher had the set in the class room.  The content isn't really something that I think would be suitable for grade one. I think even in grade 3, some was lost on my child. You probably find them funniest if you are in, or post junior high age.

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Old 02-13-2014, 06:38 PM
 
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This is something I had previously posted about with regards to the wimpy kid books. My son is 10.

"The book that got my son reading was one that I had not wanted  him to read and I had hidden it away. It was the Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Someone had given him a couple of these books when he was five years old.  I had taken a look at it and thought he is way too young, I did not really like the look of it - but I could not bring myself to throw them out.  Instead I hid them way up on our bookcase behind some books. Well a few years later when he was 9 1/2 he found them.  He remembered that we had not wanted to read these books to him and my husband had said something like when you can read these, you can read them. That was what he remembered and he went off and read them.  He found them really funny, and his joy of reading and his confidence greatly increased. He is 10 now and is an avid reader, a few months after the wimpy kid, he read all of the Harry Potters.. Other books he enjoyed reading after were the How to Train your Dragon series.  Way better than the movie, funny, and a bit easier than the Harry Potter books.  On a side note - the author for the Wimpy Kid books was in town recently and I took my son and his friend to the Wimpy kid book signing party. We had to wait for hours to get the book signed. There were hundreds of excited kids and tired parents. The kids seemed to be all around the age of 10.  When my son was getting his book signed he leaned over and said something to the author. When I asked him later what he said, he told me he told the author that "his book was the first one he had ever read." "

So in short, while not my type of book - I actually  have a "bit" of a soft spot for it now. However, I still hink it would not be a good book for kids in grade one.

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Old 02-15-2014, 09:52 AM
 
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I think my DS was in 4th grade when he read the series, he loved them. He isn't an enthusiastic reader, but devoured those books, one after the other.


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Old 02-15-2014, 09:53 AM
 
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My DS7 read the 1st and 2nd books. Interestingly, I bought the 3rd book for him over holidays (assuming he would enjoy it). He kind of said "meh" and hasn't picked it up. Instead, he's now reading a cool magic series by Eva Ibbotson. If I had banned Wimpy Kid, it would guaranteed be much higher on his list of "must reads." He did the same thing with Magic Treehouse once he figured out the story formula (although I have nothing bad to say about Magic Treehouse because it got my son reading). 

 

The content of Wimpy Kid- I'm not crazy about it, but it doesn't meet my level of "no way." It's just low brow" humor- now the Wimpy Kid movie (the first one) was funny! 

 

My personal opinion is that choice (within reason) is critical to making a life long reader. My DS needs to feel that he can make decisions about what he wants to read-- otherwise, reading becomes a chore, not a pleasure. I have recently adapted by providing a bookshelf with "mom approved" books for DS to select. I put a lot of variety, and keep the content and difficulty level within a bandwidth that we can both handle. 

 

If it helps, I never read anything voluntarily in high school except high school romance novels. I went on to higher education, and read a lot of variety now (with the exception of romance novels!). 

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Old 02-15-2014, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the responses. I was a little surprised to know that the teacher had asked for one of the books of the series for the classroom if anyone was donating. I know it had words like Stupid in it so that was why. I am not sure about why she would ask for a level of reading that seems way too high for 1st grade. CamMom thanks for giving me a different perspective.


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Old 02-15-2014, 03:09 PM
 
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Agreed. My daughters' both have high reading levels and my theory has always been to encourage them to read, regardless of what it is. I don't police reading levels or content, as long as they are enjoying what they read I'm happy. Of course they may not have chosen what is assigned for their reading groups at school but they understand that when it comes to homework they may not always like the book but they must read it to satisfy class requirements.

Agreed. Reading successfully and with pleasure at an early age is very important. DS is in first grade and has read these and also reads lots of more challenging "fun" books like all eleven books of How to Train Your Dragon. I slip him good poetry and lovely interesting things to. But really, a good reader is a confident reader and the more books you have under your belt the better.

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