In December, when I was browsing through the books section in Costco, I saw the Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5: The Ugly Truth lying on the front shelf. There's not a single bookstore where this book isn't propped right on your nose, literally. A week before, when I was browsing through Toys R Us for some games for my nieces, I came across an entire row half full of books from this series. By the time I saw this book at Costco, I was itching to know once and for all what the whole deal over this book is. So then I opened it right over there, blocking the way for any unlucky person standing behind me, and started reading. Just half a second into it, and I started snorting with laughter. Now that was embarrassing, but my cheeks were inflaming with uncontrolled giggles. So instead of putting it back on the shelf, I discreetly put it into my cart, started whistling some nonsensical tune as I made my way to the-fish-market-crowded checkout lane. And that's how I came into possession of a book so different from the kind that ever graces my bookshelves.
I started with the fifth book - it really doesn't matter which book you start with - but I would recommend reading in order for the order-obsessed reader. This whole series is from the first person viewpoint of Greg Heffley, a middle-grader with an obnoxiously high opinion of self. In fact, it's an attitude you wouldn't appreciate in anyone but yourself, which is why you end up loving Greg. His elder brother, Rodrick, never misses an opportunity to embarrass Greg or tattle him to his parents. Rodrick also has his own band, Loded Diper (supposed to be loaded diaper, but Rodrick sucks in spelling). Greg's younger brother, Manny, is another devilish little kid, who always gets his way, and unwittingly does things that embarrasses Greg. For instance, Manny addresses Greg as Bubba, in public.
Each book in the series follows Greg at school, during vacation, with different plots, but always filled with the same brand of mischief and laugh-worthy thoughts by Greg. Greg started writing a diary because when he grows up and becomes famous, he wouldn't have to keep answering the same questions asked by the media. He'd rather give them copies of his diary. Greg's best friend, Rowley, mostly sticks by Greg, except when he really senses that Greg is not giving him due credit or getting him to do the dirty part. The best part is Greg himself doesn't see it as manipulation. Rather, he is always convinced that he is doing Rowley a favor. Rowley loves wearing superhero costumes, and embarrasses Greg once when he asks him in front of the older kids, whether he wants to come home and "play". Greg prefers the phrase "hang out" to "play".
I enjoyed reading this series so much, and laughed through most of it. I loved Greg, even in spite of his outrageous schemes, and cunning ideas. At one point, he tries really hard to impress a girl, but particularly embarrassing stuff choose to happen at that time. He also comes up with plenty ways to make more money - you will have to admit that this kid has ideas! Overall, this was one really delightful series, for all ages alike.
I (un)abashedly went to the kids section in my library and borrowed this series.