Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Greg Heffley just started middle school and he's not very popular. He's a small boy in a school full of big boys who are already shaving! Greg has one best friend and his name is Rowley. The story is one full year of Greg's middle school career from his perspective via his diary, which he is adamant about saying is not a diary, but a journal.
His experiences in middle school are typical for children his age, they include the first day of school, trying out for a play, Halloween, Christmas, New Years Eve, dealing with bullies, and maintaining friendships, all while trying to become popular. It's very important to Greg to associate himself with nothing childish or uncool.
The author has set this book up so that it reads as if Greg wrote the whole thing. The pages are printed on lined paper and the font is similar to handwriting. The author includes little stick figure drawings that Greg could have drawn in his journal between his entries. The pictures help illustrate the story for the reader as well as add more detailed information. Some of the pictures have dialogue that is not included in the text.
I was somewhat surprised by some of the language in this book. "Jerk" and "morons" were included in Greg's commentary and I think that may not be appreciated by some parents. The book also mentioned a middle school student smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, which I don't think is appropriate for this age group.
I would recommend this book for upper elementary school students and older. It is great to see that other children are having similar experiences growing up and going to school as they are.