By Jeff Kinney
From the back cover
Being a kid can really stink. And no one knows this better than Greg, who finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving.
In Diary of a Wimpy Kid, author and illustrator Jeff Kinney introduces us to an unlikely hero. As Greg says in his diary:
“Just don’t expect me to be all “Dear Diary” this and “Dear Diary” that.
Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won’t do and what he actually does are two very different things.
In a gist…
In the first entry (September), there is a mention of ways to “get all the girls” and sitting with “hot girls” and girls liking boys with “cute butts”
Degradation of Family/Islamic values
• He says his mother is “crazy” for asking him to record his feelings.
• When his father tells him to go outside and play sports he goes to his friend’s house to play video games and then runs into sprinklers on his way back to make it look like sweat from exercise.
• He sneaks a CD with a Parental Warning sign (containing mature language) out of his brother’s room knowing his parents would disapprove and he listens to it.
• Greg sneaks video games containing violence into his neighbour’s house by inserting them into children’s game cases.
• Halloween and trick-or-treating.
• Christmas and gift exchange.
• All the girls sympathize with a boy who broke his hand at school. They feed him lunch and he gets their attention. Greg decides to wrap his hand to get the same type of attention from the girls at his school.
All in all, I would not recommend this book to any child, let alone a Muslim one. When we read a book, we tend to see ourselves in the main character, we try to relate to the events occurring and we visualize ourselves in the stories we read. The main character in this book, Greg, is surely not one I would want my children to relate to at all. The book may be portraying the reality of our children’s lives at school but it sure is not one I would want my children validate their school challenges through. Greg’s main concerns are limited to finding ways to attract girls’ attention, becoming popular, finding ways to protect himself from bullying, and avoiding any type of work at home or at school. Greg lacks any type of ambition, which i realize is the case with our middle school aged children these days but allowing a child to indulge in a book where the star is a lower than average child gives a sense of acceptance to young readers that this lifestyle is what is expected of them. I would definitely urge parents to read the book to get a sense of their children’s reality at school but I would keep it away from the children themselves.
If you still insist on letting your child read the book you can ask them to start reading from the second chapter “October” to avoid reading much of the talk about girls and some other negative behaviours that have been mentioned in the chapter-by-chapter breakdown above.