Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crime and Punishment: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney

I finally got home around 5:00 p.m., and there was a note on the front door. When I read it, I almost passed out.


We came by but no one was home.
We will be back.
---Sgt. Peters

Greg Heffley is a wanted man.

With Christmas coming, Greg and his bud Rowley have decided to show a little capitalist initiative and make some easy money. They set up a neighborhood Christmas bazaar in the backyard and tape some posters advertising their event around the area, including on the convenient walls of their middle school.

But it starts to rain right away, and when the boys see their work later, it is all faded, the washable marker letters running and illegible. And when they remove the posters--GACK! They see that the colored posters have faded dark green all over the school walls. When someone yells at the supposed vandals, the two grab the incriminating evidence and run for it. But the next day they see that they've made the headlines in The Daily Herald:


The article features a couple of bad composite sketches of the alleged perps, and Greg is sure they're safe from detection. But then that ominous note appears on his front door. The long arm of the law has found him. That dreaded knock on the door could come at any moment.

But then Greg hits a lucky streak--or so he thinks. That afternoon it starts to snow big time and it's still coming down the next day. School is cancelled and the streets are impassable. He's safe from incarceration.

But a few days of being snowed in with Rodrick, Manny, and Mom change his mind. Manny gets hold of the remote and disables the TV so that it only works for Mom's exercise videos. Manny screws up Greg's Net Kritters online game so that he has no Kritter Kash to fund the game; the downstairs floods from the snow melt, and since Dad is snowed in downtown in a luxury hotel, Mom and the boys have to bail the basement with Manny's sand pails. Food is running dangerously low, and when the power mysteriously goes off, Mom and the kids are forced to huddle under blankets together to stave off hypothermia.

A warm cell and three squares of pork and beans a day would be an improvement. Jail is beginning to look good to Greg!

Jeff Kinney has done it again. The fifth book in his Diary of a Wimpy Kidseries, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever (Amulet Books, 2011), published November 15, is another drop-dead funny outing, already a #1 best-seller status 24 hours after publication. I myself bought it and took it along to while away the time waiting in a doctor's office and suffered two uncontrollable giggle sessions sitting alone in a chilly examination room! This time around Kinney spends little time on the middle school scene, devoting most of this book to the home front right before Christmas with hilarious results. Read it and rejoice.

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