WRECKING BALL by Jeff Kinney

WRECKING BALL

From the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series, volume 14
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams
Review Posted Online:




Kirkus Interview
Jeff Kinney
author of THE LONG HAUL
November 12, 2014

A family road trip is supposed to be a lot of fun…unless, of course, you’re the Heffleys of Jeff Kinney’s famous Diary of a Wimpy Kid series of books. The journey starts off full of promise, then quickly takes several wrong turns. Gas station bathrooms, crazed seagulls, a fender bender, and a runaway pig—not exactly Greg Heffley’s idea of a good time. But even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure—and this is one the Heffleys won’t soon forget. We talk to Kinney on Kirkus TV this week about the wild success of the Wimpy Kid books and his latest in the series, The Long Haul. View video >

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