From time to time I like to feel smart, so I'll read some serious, intellectually-stimulating work of fiction. This, I believe, is good for me. I have discovered a complicated mathematic equation that proves that one's IQ decreases with direct proportion to the number of children one has multiplied by the number of years that one stays home to raise these children. The only way to counter this is to set aside time each day to think about something other than Strawberry Shortcake, how to get grass stains out of denim, and how much TV is too much TV.
So, I ordered Jonathan Franzen's Freedom a few months ago and the lovely people at Amazon told me that other people who read Freedom also read Franzen's Corrections and Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question and wouldn't I like to order those too and be like all those smart people, hmmm? Wouldn't I? Why yes! Thanks for asking!
So the book I am going to discuss today is Jeff Kinney's Diary
of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth 'cause those other books weren't nearly as good.
First Son happens to be the sweetest child ever to live and gave me Diary of a Wimpy Kid as a birthday present after I so thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Most adults (including me!) can't even do this—think about what someone else may enjoy, but my seven-year-old can. Can anyone say proud Mama?
I planned on reading some of it to him every night and had visions of us curled up reading it together and how he would always remember that and maybe even read it to his kids one day. However, as soon as I cracked the cover, I couldn't put it down. It was sooooo funny and compelling.
It's everything that made The Wonder Years one of the greatest TV shows ever created. The only thing you can do when you look back on the most awkward, worst years of your life is laugh about it. And what, I ask you, what is more awkward and worser than middle school? That's right, nothing.
Kinney is a whiz at taking small details of a sixth grader's life and turning them into things of comedic genius. His wit combined with his simplistic cartoons are a deadly combo. I laughed so hard I snorted. It's a double whammy of laughter for adults because we can experience the humor from the standpoint of looking back at our youth and from the standpoint of looking at our children. However, I still don't know what the ugly truth is. Maybe that book was a little too high-brow for me after all.
So if you need a break from serious (a.k.a. boring) fiction, then look no further than your kid's backpack. They've got the goods.