All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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A video interview with

Jeff Kinney

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Jeff Kinney is the best-selling author and illustrator of the wildly popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, featuring the everyday life of the very relatable adolescent Greg Heffley.

Kinney spent his childhood in the Washington, D.C. area and later moved to New England. As a young reader, Kinney was inspired by the books of Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and J.R.R. Tolkien. While a student at the University of Maryland, Kinney decided he wanted to become a cartoonist.

Kinney began noodling ideas for the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book in 1998, but it wasn't until the spring of 2007 that the book was published — and quickly became a New York Times bestseller, eventually reaching the number one spot. In 2009, Kinney was named one of the 20 Artists & Entertainers in The TIME 100, the magazine's list of The World's Most Influential people. In 2010, Diary of a Wimpy Kid was made into a movie.

Kinney is also a successful online game developer, cartoonist, designer, and the creator of Poptropica, known by children around the world. Poptropica is an online role-playing game designed for kids 6 to 15 where players travel between islands to complete quests.

Kinney currently lives Plainville, Massachusetts with his wife Julie and their two sons, Will and Grant.

Learn more at the official Wimpy Kid website.

Selected Books

from Jeff Kinney

The Third Wheel

Age Level: 9-12

A lot can happen when friends go to a Valentine's Day dance together — and it's not always expected! Greg's diary entries and line drawings again present the angst of middle school and familiar problems of growing up.

Buy The Third Wheel

Cabin Fever

Age Level: 9-12

Greg Heffley thinks kids who don't celebrate Christmas have it much better; they don't have to behave between Thanksgiving and the time Santa comes! Greg's concerns about his conduct, his family's traditions, and possible trouble at school make for a memorable tale.

Buy Cabin Fever

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Age Level: 9-12

Greg Heffley's mom makes him keep a journal — NOT a diary! — Greg forcefully asserts. In his journal, Greg uses words and comics to recount life in middle school beginning at the end of summer school. Greg's voice and stick figures ring true and set the tenor for tales told in other Wimpy Kid books.

Buy Diary of a Wimpy Kid

The Ugly Truth

Age Level: 9-12

Being a kid isn't easy, especially if — like Greg — you feel teenage-hood creeping up. Over the summer Greg and his best buddy Rowley had a fight. Rowley's new friend is older which is cool and the cool factor is critical. Spot-on observations add another laugh-out-loud installment.

Buy The Ugly Truth

Dog Days

Age Level: 9-12

Summer, according to Greg, is all about video games and other indoor activities. His mom does not agree, however. Of course, that Greg had a falling out with his best buddy doesn't help calm his mother's enthusiasm for getting Greg involved in other things. Another recognizable saga comes to life in word and comics.

Buy Dog Days

The Last Straw

Age Level: 9-12

Greg doesn't think he needs a resolution for the New Year; he'd be hard to improve on. But he's not sure his parents agree. Once again, family and school lives are revealed with ardent honesty through Greg's voice and comic drawings.

Buy The Last Straw

The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book

Age Level: 9-12

Readers are introduced to activities and journaling in the style of Greg Heffley's journal. Even those not familiar with the exploits of the comical journalist will enjoy filling in the pages of this book.

Buy The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book