Book Title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid 11: Double Down
Publisher: Amulet Books
Writer: Jeff Kinney
Artist: Jeff Kenney
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Halloween is coming, and Greg Heffley is up to his normal antics. While Greg’s mother decides to better herself with classes, she pushes Greg to think about his future. Greg has new “interests” whether he likes it or not. Be it the French horn he’s been forced to play or reading I.M. Spooky’s series of kids horror books, Greg’s getting ideas on how he can get rich quick and capitalize on the popularity of scaring kids.
Written and illustrated by Jeffery Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 11: Double Down was released on November 1, 2016. The book follows Diary of a Wimpy Kid 10: Old School and was met with high pre-sales like previous books in the series.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are pretty formulaic at this point. The question is if the formula works or if the book fails. While some of the stories just don’t seem to build enough, others go overboard and take it too far. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 11: Double Down does find a decent balance that keeps the book entertaining.
There is a lot of fun stuff in the books and how the books work is that Greg’s antics end up piling up and exploding. Here, Greg’s love of horror (something I had), Halloween, candy, and desire to make a buck explode…and in typical Diary of a Wimpy Kid fashion, Greg comes out on the losing end while his friend Rowley Jefferson wins.
The book does really touch on things you think about as a kid, but Kinney occasionally wanders. There are events like the cryogenic freezing and The Truman Show references that are so tangential to the plot that you can tell Kinney just wants to put it in the story but doesn’t necessary know how to place it in there…while it is funny, it kind of makes the books more fragmented than they need to be.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid 11: Double Down is a fun read for fans of the series and the series goes on. It isn’t really limping along, but it also isn’t inspiring to anything new. Childhood has an endless to it so Diary of a Wimpy Kid could go on and on for decades, but it runs into the problem in that it roots itself in Greg getting older…which never happens. I enjoy some of the holiday aspects of Wimpy Kid books and Kinney might want to do some focusing on that since childhood seems to revolve around the holidays. Of course if we get a Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Arbor Day, Kinney might have pushed it too far (ok, Charlie Brown had an Arbor Day episode).