Friday, November 23, 2012

{ diary of a wimpy kid: the third wheel review and giveaway }

In the last year and a half my oldest has learned to read.  She's know how to read for awhile but it's been in the last year that she has moved on from the picture books and Level One readers to book with "lots and lots of words" according to her.  It's been a long time since I've children's books and I had no idea what to buy for her. 

Not kidding.

It was one of the first times (and there have been many since) where I had that feeling that all parents get when they realize that their child is looking at them like they are so out of touch. Don't you know what's cool?  Sorry Sweetheart, Mommy still blasts Backstreet Boys circa 2000 when she feels old.

It was a lovely lady at a local bookstore store that directed me to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid section (Thank you Lesley!) and I brought her home the first in the series (because you should always start in the beginning?).  And just like that I was cool again.  

Of course it didn't last but for that moment I was in touch with the youth.  Or at least Lesley was.  

And that is why I was just as excited as my daughter when the most recent book in the series was released this month.  (Imagine the cool points I won when I told her that I was getting to review it early too). Queen B snatched it up and it didn't see her the rest of the evening.  She emerged from her room the next day to tell me she was finished and it was the best book yet.

What is The Third Wheel about?
Love is in the air—but what does that mean for Greg Heffley?
A Valentine’s Day dance at Greg’s middle school has turned his world upside down. As Greg scrambles to find a date, he’s worried he’ll be left out in the cold on the big night. His best friend, Rowley, doesn’t have any prospects either, but that’s a small consolation.  An unexpected twist gives Greg a partner for the dance and leaves Rowley the odd man out. But a lot can happen in one night, and in the end, you never know who’s going to be lucky in love.

What did I think?
It's been a long time since I've been at the age where I worried about my first dance but this story brought it all back.  The book opens with new student council elections. It seems those students who were elected in the fall haven't been attending meetings. Oops!  Greg thinks he'd make a great politician (and actually has brilliant ideas) but you "must be in good academic standing" in order to run. Darn! 
During the election a promise is made to stock the student bathrooms with soft toilet paper but in order to do that though they must raise money, which isn't an easy feat for students who'd rather eat candy bars than sell them.  This also delivers one of the best lines ever; "lot of families like mine had to write a check to the school just to cover the cost of the candy bars their children ate."  I died I tell you.  (Sidenote: when my oldest starts selling those WFC Carmel bars I plan on just ponying up for the whole case up front.  No lie.)  The boys want a WWE/X-games event but the planning committee is all girls...who like the idea of a Valentine's Dance instead.
A stroke of luck and lots of advice from four-times married Uncle Gary who is living on the Heffley's couch gets Greg a "date" to the dance leaving Rowley in the wings.  But it's not all smooth sailing.  What do a booster seat, taxes and a state trooper (with handcuffs) have in common?  All things Greg has to survive before he even gets to the dance.  Watch out for Ruby Bird!

What will earn me cool points with you?  A giveaway of any Diary of a Wimpy Kid book!  Choose from any book in the series.  Yup, any book.  I highly recommend The Third Wheel or pick the one you're missing.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

While we are talking cool I want to tell you about Wimp E-Books.  I am thinking about buying my little reader a entry e-book reader this Christmas and the Wimp E-Books are something I know she'd love to have.  Books #1 - #7 in the series are now available for download as Wimp-E-Books wherever e-Books are sold.  Wimp-E-Books carry their own name and logo.  

Author and illustrator Jeff Kinney was also involved in all aspects of the transformation of the Wimpy Kid books into e-book form.  I like his quote that “It was important to me to make sure the books look just as good on the screen as they do on paper. I’m thrilled at the way the books look on e-readers, tablets, and other devices, and I hope fans enjoy having them in digital format as much as they've enjoyed them as books.” I love authors that care about their readers.  Especially the young readers.  And the stories from the first three books appear digitally for free on the website still.
You can find all things Diary of a Wimpy Kid at the official website or follow them on twitter @WimpyKid.  

Good luck!


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