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Book review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid series gets an 11th installment

Posted November 10

"THE DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: Double Down," by Jeff Kinney, Amulet Books, $13.95, 224 pages (f)

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series returns with its 11th installment, "The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down." The wimpy kid himself, Greg Heffley, is busy trying to evade his mother's schemes to cut down on his video games and get him to discover new interests and explore his creative side — whatever that means.

Still, joining the middle school band and learning the French horn may score Greg a coveted invite to fellow band member Mariana's infamously wild annual Halloween party. And making a gummy worm horror movie with his friend Rowley turns out to be a blast, at least until the ferocious geese arrive.

As Greg dodges a Lego-obsessed new friend and furtively disposes of the fruit his mother keeps putting in his lunch, he begins to suspect he may be more in touch with his creative side than he thought.

While this latest addition to the Wimpy Kid series will probably not attract any new fans, those who already know and love Greg Heffley will adore his Halloween middle school adventures. Reluctant readers will identify with Greg's desire to push books to the bottom of his to-do list, and even those who love to read will be inspired by Greg's quest (under duress) to step out of his comfort zone and explore new hobbies. Hopefully any readers tempted to let a white lie or two slip will also be reminded by Greg's misadventures that it is easier to tell the truth from the beginning.

"Double Down" doesn't include any violence, profanity or sexual content. Eight- to 12-year-olds will be most likely to enjoy this novel.

Rachel Chipman has a bachelor's degree in family life and human development. Her current goals are to read more, write more and learn to type while holding her infant daughter. Her email address is racheldchipman@gmail.com.

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