One situation in the original “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” really hit home with me. It’s when our hero Greg, ready to pull the prank of a lifetime on his substitute teacher, comes to school and finds out that the sub is his mom. That’s cold. Coming from a family of teachers, I’ve actually had my mom as my sub – I can feel Greg’s pain. It’s those sorts of events that really endeared to the book to me, and I was shoulder-dancing like crazy when I found out there would be a sequel.
It turns out that my shoulder-dancing was warranted. “Rodrick Rules” follows the blueprint of its predecessor, while delivering more humor and insight into the characters. The story follows Greg Heffley through summer vacation and into another school year. Greg’s brother, the titular Rodrick, is just barely hanging on in high school and would rather be rocking out with his band Loded Diper. All the while Greg’s mom and dad try their earnest best to encourage their sons down the straight and sensible path.
Probably the first thing everyone wants to know is if “Rodrick Rules” is as funny as the original. This is a hard thing to judge. All I know is, I was laughing out loud on multiple occasions. When Greg’s mom introduces a new rewards plan to get her sons to help out around the house, I was bleary-eyed (I’m cracking a smile even as I write this). When Greg explains what happened to Rodrick’s sophomore class picture, I was rolling. I would say more, but I don’t want to give anything away. This is a story that people want to read and love.
Can I speak for just a moment about the popularity of these books? Now is a good time to humor me and pretend you don’t already know. I help out with four elementary school book fairs per year, and “Wimpy Kid” has been selling like elephant ears at all of ’em. If you’re from other parts of the country where they don’t have elephant ears, just know that they are delicious and are purchased frequently.
“Rodrick Rules” will not disappoint fans of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”. In fact, it will probably bring a lot more readers on board. They’ll be curious about why you’re laughing so much.
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