Reading just for the fun of it
Since the previews first aired in February, my son along with every other third grader I know has been anxiously awaiting the movie “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” He’s been devouring the book series. While in Costco, I quipped that if I made a few more broadies around the store, he’d finish “Dog Days” and I wouldn’t even have to pay for it!
With only a day or two left on the big screen, we headed for the show last weekend. Thankfully, my motherly instinct kicked in and I left my 5-year old at home with Daddy. If only we had all stayed at home. I found the movie to be downright uninspiring and inappropriate. What did my son think? He liked it (of course).
Then, I panicked. What in the world has he been reading the last few weeks? Were the books like the movie? He’d gone through the books so quickly that I only sat with him a couple times to read out loud. No red flags had gone off then. That very night, I grabbed the latest paperback in the series from his shelf and read “The Last Straw” from cover to cover.
Did I get it? Did I find it enjoyable? Not really. There were a couple spots where, I admit, that I did chuckle out loud. Mostly, I found it kind of lame, which translates into side-splitting HILARIOUS in an 8-year old’s world. The book, by nature, offered a softer Greg Heffley, plus super clever illustrations to deliver a relatable story of middle school triumphs and follies. On the other hand, the movie offered too many anxious mom moments, where I held my breath and hoped that my son didn’t clue into the “girlie magazine.” Plus, the movie depicted the older brother as torturous, teachers as nit-wits and school populace as sheep.
Over the course of the next 24 hours, I spent way too much time analyzing the movie plot and leveraging key scenes as “teaching moments.” At one point, my son said, “Mommy, it’s just a movie. I know it’s pretend.” What a relief. The movie hadn’t scarred him for life, or for that matter, entry into middle school.Continued on the next page