BooksForKidsBlog

Friday, February 21, 2020

No Place Like Home: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball by Jeff Kinney

It all begins when the Heffley family receives a letter from a lawyer, informing them that they have been left an inheritance from Great-Aunt Reba.

Their big mistake is choosing to spend it on home improvements.

Dad wants a bigger hot tub. Greg, Manny, and Rodrick, tired of tangling legs in Dad's hot tub, vote for a backyard pool. Mom pulls rank, declaring that she's the only one who even sent Great Aunt Reba a thank you-note, and calls first dibs on a kitchen re-do. But like most improvement plans, the bigger kitchen grows exponentially into THE ADDITION.

Many mishaps ensue but at last the addition is done. But then...

The building inspector came out to check the framing of the addition. And when he DID, he found out the whole structure was too close to Mrs. Tuttle's property line by about three FEET. The whole structure had to come DOWN.

Not to be deterred, Mom, filled with House Beautiful lust, finds the perfect new place. All they have to do is repair the new hole in the wall in the old house and find a buyer for it.

What could possibly go wrong?

The hapless Heffleys find their windfall to be their downfall. They manage to find a customer for their house, but the buyer has toddlers and insists that Dad's hot tub has to go, and the construction company's crane operator manages to drop the hot tub right through the roof.
There's probably a LESSON I could learn from the whole experience... like "be happy with what you've got." But that's the kind of corny stuff they put in books for little kids.

Wrecking Ball (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 14) (Amulet Books, 2019) is Jeff Kinney's fourteenth graphic novel about the hilarious. if unfortunate, Heffleys, and Kinney's comic characters continue to call forth the kind of belly laughs for kids and grown-ups alike that boost his books into best-selling territory.

Pair this one with Greg's, er, best friend Rowley's own book, Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal. (Abrams, 2019). Says Kirkus Reviews, "The character work is terrific. The fact that Kinney can expose new facets of his characters this deep into the series is a credit to the property . . . A pleasant twist on a sturdy franchise."

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