Getting locked out of a hotel room wearing only underwear…hanging from a tree and having your pants fall down…could these two things actually happen to the same person in the same year? Yes, if that person is Greg Heffley! That wimp can’t catch a break. He gets deodorant, a travel dictionary and a laundry bag for Christmas. The cute girl at school does finally write in his yearbook, “I don’t really know you all that well, but you seem O.K., I guess.” Which isn’t bad, until you read what she wrote in Greg’s best friend Rowley’s yearbook “You are so adorable & funny! I hope we have the same homeroom next Year. Stay cute!” Whew. It’s tough being Greg! Author: Jeff Kinney
Clementine likes to know what the rules are, especially at school. That way she can keep herself from making mistakes. When her regular teacher, Mr. DMatz, becomes a finalist for the Adventures for Teachers Contest and leaves school for a week, Clementine has to get used to the rules of her new substitute teacher…and she doesn’t understand them one bit.
When the Principal announces that Clementine and her friends can help Mr. D’Matz win the Adventures for Teachers Contest by writing a recommendation letter for him, Clementine has a better idea, she’ll write a letter alright, a great letter, a letter that will guarantee he loses – and get rid of that awful substitute teacher forever. Author: Sara Pennypacker
Catherine tries to be patient with her brother David but sometimes it’s really hard, because sometimes, well, he’s embarrassing. Sometimes David acts in unusual ways; saying certain words over and over, only wanting to do one particular thing over and over or only playing with one particular toy. Catherine can handle David at home…most of the time, although she thinks she has to be in charge of him too much. But it’s out in public that she has the most trouble. She’s embarrassed, but sad and guilty too because, really, she loves David – and what kind of sister wouldn’t want to have her brother around? Catherine writes things down to help her figure out her feelings. She starts a list of rules for David, in hopes that she can someday teach him what they are:
If the bathroom door is closed, knock! (especially if Catherine has a friend over).
Say thank you when someone gives you a present (even if you don’t like it).
Don’t stand in front of the TV when other people are watching it.
A boy takes off his shirt to swim, but not his shorts.
These rules are pretty basic…but you can tell by reading them that David has broken them before. David has autism, which makes it difficult for him to follow Catherine’s list of rules. The author has an autistic son so it makes sense that she could write such a good story that captures Catherine’s feelings. I liked Catherine because she was so honest. She’s having trouble dealing with David and she says so. She loves David and she says so. Catherine doesn’t always make good choices in this book, which makes her a very believable character. Author: Cynthia Lord
Mrs. Wurtz leaves a blank notebook in her class’s writer’s corner. The kids are supposed to write in it, and write whatever they want. The only rule is that each person who writes in the book must sign his or her name. It’s fun to read the entries and look at the pictures the kids draw. At first, you don’t know who is who, but as you read you can tell who the kids are by their style of writing and the kind of pictures they draw. The kids reveal their feelings and even fight with each other. Why do boys have to write about puke and boogers and stuff like that? That’s what the girls want to know! In the end, they work out their classroom problems with words. What a great idea! Writing about your feelings is a great way to work things out in your own head. Author: Mary Amato
I mean, she really does. Rule I mean. If I were ten again I would want to live in Amelia’s neighborhood. I’d want Amelia to be my friend. She isn’t perfect, but she’s authentic. That means she’s not fake. She doesn’t lie or talk behind your back. She says what she means…even if she might have to apologize later. She’s got your back and you’d cover hers too.
Amelia’s comic book world is probably a lot like yours. Parents get divorced, kids go to school, play sports, go to dances at school, have to move away, or have problems at home. Homework gets done…and doesn’t get done. Parents listen…and sometimes don’t listen. Through all this, Amelia has her friends, Rhonda, Reggie, Pajamaman, Joan, Sunday and Kyle to help her figure it all out. Life can be tough, but with good friends and family, Amelia (and you) can tough it out and even have a lot of fun. Author: Jimmy Gownley