Reviews for Rodrick Rules


Booklist Reviews 2008 February #1
Greg Heffley is back, and with him the trappings that made his first outing, Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2007), such a popular triumph. Once again diarist Greg chronicles a hilarious litany of problems, alternating between home and school, focusing this time on the particular punishments of his reprobate older brother, Rodrick. Whether Greg is suffering on the swim team or trying out for the K-12  school talent show as Magician's Assistant to a First Grader, his escapades are united by his struggle to avoid embarrassment. As before, he peppers his journal entries with his own cartoons (in look and tone, a sort of hybrid of The Simpsons and the Timbertoes), using them as any 12-year-old would--to add insult to injury. But the real and deeper appeal of Greg's story is the unapologetic honesty of his adolescence; he comes across as a real kid, and his story is one that will appeal to all those real kids who feel just like him. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Fall
Greg Heffley and his older brother Rodrick are back! In the same hand-printed format as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, with cartoons punctuating every page, Greg's middle school angst is on display for the world to see...and for Rodrick to exploit. If that's not enough, three-year-old brother Manny is ever-observant and ready to tattle. Greg, along with best friend Rowley, attempts to navigate middle school with some sort of dignity, despite being chauffeured in a van with the words Lšded Diper (the name of Rodrick's band) painted on it; getting nailed as an "accomplice" to Rodrick's illicit, house-trashing party even though Rodrick locked him in the basement all night; counting on a snow day to delay the due date of a history-class project; and surviving Thanksgiving with his squabbling extended family. (Though not the target audience, there is plenty here to amuse the adult reader as well.) And, in the end, when Rodrick gets his comeuppance, we know Greg is going to be just fine. Greg might not be the most reliable narrator, but he certainly reports life as a middle brother with humor and the appropriate amount of whiny pessimism. Though this book stands alone, readers will want to start with the first installment. Let's hope Greg keeps a journal all the way through high school. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2008 #3
Greg Heffley and his older brother Rodrick are back! In the same hand-printed format as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, with cartoons punctuating every page, Greg's middle school angst is on display for the world to see...and for Rodrick to exploit. If that's not enough, three-year-old brother Manny is ever-observant and ready to tattle. Greg, along with best friend Rowley, attempts to navigate middle school with some sort of dignity, despite being chauffeured in a van with the words Lšded Diper (the name of Rodrick's band) painted on it; getting nailed as an "accomplice" to Rodrick's illicit, house-trashing party even though Rodrick locked him in the basement all night; counting on a snow day to delay the due date of a history-class project; and surviving Thanksgiving with his squabbling extended family. (Though not the target audience, there is plenty here to amuse the adult reader as well.) And, in the end, when Rodrick gets his comeuppance, we know Greg is going to be just fine. Greg might not be the most reliable narrator, but he certainly reports life as a middle brother with humor and the appropriate amount of whiny pessimism. Though this book stands alone, readers will want to start with the first installment. Let's hope Greg keeps a journal all the way through high school. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2007 December #2
In a second set of entries--of a planned three, all first published in somewhat different form online in installments--slacker diarist Greg starts a new school year. After a miserable summer of avoiding swim-team practice by hiding out in the bathroom (and having to wrap himself in toilet paper to keep from freezing), he finally passes on the dreaded "cheese touch" (a form of cooties) to an unsuspecting new classmate, then stumbles through another semester of pranks and mishaps. On the domestic front, his ongoing wars with older brother Rodrick, would-be drummer in a would-be metal band called Löded Diper, share center stage with their mother's generally futile parenting strategies. As before, the text, which is done in a legible hand-lettered-style font, is liberally interspersed with funny line drawings, many of which feature punch lines in speech balloons. Though even less likable that Junie B. Jones, Greg is (well, generally) at least not actively malicious, and so often is he the victim of circumstance or his own schemes gone awry that readers can't help but feel empathy. This reasonably self-contained installment closes with a truce between the siblings. A temporary one, more than likely. (Illustrated fiction. 9-11) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 November #4

Kinney's junior-high diarist returns to chronicle another year's worth of comic moments in this riotous sequel. Once again, school-related drama constitutes a good portion of Greg's subject matter, from an ongoing correspondence with a pen pal ("I'm pretty sure 'aquaintance' doesn't have a 'c' in it. You really need to work on your English," Greg replies to the French student's polite introduction) to mastering book reports by writing "exactly what the teacher wants to hear" ("There were a bunch of hard words in this book, but I looked them up in the dictionary so now I know what they mean"). As in the previous book, cartoons form part of the narrative, corroborating (or disproving) Greg's statements. He claims that kids with last names at the start of the alphabet are smartest, and a side-by-side comparison of prim ber-nerd Alex Aruda and gap-toothed Christopher Ziegel drives the point home. Additionally, Kinney fleshes out the often testy relationships between Greg and his slacker older sibling, Rodrick, and his little brother, Manny (when Greg gets mad at Manny for shoving a cookie in his video game system, the toddler protests, "I'm ownwy thwee!" and offers a ball of tinfoil with toothpicks shoved through to apologize). The hilarious interplay between text and cartoons and the keen familial observations that set Diary of a Wimpy Kid apart are just as evident in this outing, and are just as likely to keep readers in stitches. Ages 8-up. (Feb.)

[Page 52]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 March

Gr 4-8-- Hapless and hilarious Greg Heffley returns with another diary full of the minor irritations, major disasters, and occasional triumphs of a wimpy boy's middle school life. Kinney combines hand-written text with comical cartoons to present a character who is self-centered, sneaky, and dishonest, but also occasionally insightful and always very funny. Older brother Rodrick is his primary nemesis this time, partly because he threatens to spill Greg's embarrassing secret to the whole world. A nerdy best friend, a little brother who gets away with everything, and a bunch of clueless adults add significantly to Greg's problems. Readers, of course, will note that most of the narrator's troubles are self-inflicted, as when he wraps himself in toilet paper to avoid hypothermia in the boys' bathroom, does a disastrous job of pet-sitting, or decides to "wing it" for his school report on "The Amazing Moose." He's a character that readers can laugh at and empathize with at the same time. The line drawings that appear on every page play a large part in bringing Greg's world to life, providing humorous characterizations and details not mentioned in words. They also extend the appeal of the book to readers who are still a few years away from middle school themselves. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams, 2007) has been wildly popular, and this sequel should be an equally big hit with reluctant readers, especially boys, and anyone looking for a funny book.--Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR

[Page 202]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2008 June
Greg Heffley is back with a new journal for recording his adventures. Trying to get through middle school with the least amount of effort is still a top priority, as is trying to stay on the "good" side of his high school brother, Rodrick, who knows about an incident that occurred during the summer and could prove very embarrassing to Greg if it was revealed. This is a tall task, especially as Rodrick enlists Greg's help in schemes that are sure to backfire, like having a party while the parents are out of town. When Greg screws up and fails to record Rodrick's band performance at a talent show, squashing his hopes for getting a big recording contract, Rodrick lets out Greg's secret, with hilarious results Kinney again demonstrates his comic ability to depict the misadventures of an insecure middle school boy. This sequel focuses on Greg's interaction with his family. Kinney has a knack for capturing the trials of being a middle child who thinks everything is much easier for his older or younger sibling. The comedy is enhanced by lots of exaggeration and stereotypical characters-Rodrick is a lazy slug who expects to make it big as a recording star, little brother Manny is a tattletale, and their parents appear unreasonable. This enjoyable, easy read is sure to appeal to every middle school boy. Expect them to rush to check out this new adventure and be waiting anxiously for the next installment.-Chris Carlson 4Q 4P M J Copyright 2008 Voya Reviews.

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