Book Title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid 10: Old School
Publisher: Amulet Books
Writer: Jeff Kinney
Artist: Jeff Kinney
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Greg Heffley has a new set of problems when his grandfather moves in and his mother decides to petition the town to go electronic free for a whole weekend. If those weren’t big enough problems, Greg might have to make the ultimate sacrifice…going to camp!
Written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 10: Old School continues the best-selling teen series starring Greg Heffley and his adventures in middle school. The book was released on November 3, 2015 to record setting pre-order numbers and followed Diary of a Wimpy Kid 9: The Long Haul.
I was a big fan of Diary of a Wimpy Kid when the first book came out. It was written for pre-teen/teens, but could be enjoyed by older adults due to Greg’s mature/immature reflections on his life. Over the years, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has had hits and misses…unfortunately, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 10: Old School is a miss.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid works best when the story focuses on a main theme story which is carried throughout the story and leads to a big payoff in the last part of the book. Here, there is no main theme. I thought that Greg’s grandpa would maybe circle around or the electronics free day would be the big payoff. When Greg heads to camp, the rest of the book is almost forgotten for the Silas Scratch story (which also could have been better).
It is volumes like this that make me think that Diary of a Wimpy Kid has much outlived its fun. The addition of the pig in the last volume was goofy fun, but the story always had some sense of reality to it (though still cartoonish). Here the pig is wearing pants and has his own room in an already crammed house…it doesn’t feel real anymore. The humor also feels a lot more forced at this point…Greg makes the joke that it feels like he’s been in middle school forever. He might need to move on finally (but it also doesn’t make sense his maturity level even in a middle school sense).
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a massive money maker and will continue. I think the series is kind of at a critical point. It needs to figure out who it is catering to and is readers get older and younger readers start picking it up. Is Greg going to age? Is the book real or completely surreal? Unlike other series books that pump out volume after volume, Diary of a Wimpy Kid smartly only releases one a year…which makes it all the more critical that the next volume is going to be as good or not better. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 10: Old School is followed by Diary of a Wimpy Kid 11: Double Down in 2016,