Diary of a Wimpy Librarian’s Latest Display
Our library system’s budget is like a wounded animal right now. As a librarian and a vegan, this troubles me. It’s not like new books aren’t coming in from Baker and Taylor. They are. They are just few and far between. It’s amazing, but kids are still crazy into Diary of a Wimpy Kid. My branch hardly ever has any copies. Lately, books in high demand are hardly ever around when you need them. Kid, “Who’s the author of Wimpy Kid?” Me: “Kinney. But don’t bother. We don’t have any. Can I put one on hold for you?”
Recently, though, like a divine intervention from the library gods, my branch got a huge donation from a major corporation, and I got to spend a bunch of the dough on new children’s books. I bought as many copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid as I could without looking like a Greedy Gus. Well, they were delivered, but were immediately placed on hold and shipped to other branches. Darn floating collection.
OK, so it was obviously time to deal with the facts: Kids either had to wait a couple of weeks (years in kid-time) for a copy OR I had better start pushing some alternate titles. I hardly ever do read-alike displays because I always worry about not having enough titles to replenish the display when it starts looking a bit sparse. This time, I dug a little deeper into the collection looking for a butt-load of good school-centric stories that were either a) overwhelmingly sarcastic (Seriously, as if any of the kids I know need any help in this category. Once they discover the holy grail of sarcasm, it’s over.) b) in diary form c) peppered with comic-book style illustrations or d) easily digestible for reluctant readers. Sometimes, I just had a feeling about certain books and included them because I thought Wimpy-kid fans would like them. I found so many titles that I haven’t had a difficult time ensuring that the display was chockfull-o-books.
Here’s a list of books I used, because librarians love lists.
♥ ♥ ♥ I’m not like Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but this book made me kinda terrified of bunnies. Or at least alien bunnies. Wuv Bunnies from Outers Pace is good and demented. I chose it because of its easy readability, interesting visuals, and dumb-but-inspired humor.
♥ ♥ ♥ Not many of the Wimpy Kid characters are very likable. Lydia and Julie manage to be funny, witty, and totally endearing. The Popularity Papers: Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang not only has a super-trendy extra-long title, but is kinda like the chick-lit version of Wimpy Kid. Great full-color illustrations matched with a sweet yet hilarious coming-of-age story. I love those girls. There’s a sequel, too. And one of these days I will totally get around to reading it.
♥ ♥ ♥ I already wrote my love letter to The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. I’ve booktalked this title to a bajillion kids and no one has walked away from me without it. It’s just that fun. I promise. Here’s a secret: I think I may like it even better than Wimpy Kid. Shhhhh. Don’t tell.
♥ ♥ ♥ I call The Last Invisible Boy the thinking man’s Wimpy Kid. It’s sad sometimes, sure, but also smart. I wish more kids read this.
♥ ♥ ♥ The Big Nate books are like the Designer Imposters Body Spray/Canal Street Gucci Bag Knock-off version of Kinney’s books. Really. If you’re all out of Wimpy Kid books, these will definitely do. Not that I think that Peirce is ripping anyone off, but for kids who don’t want to stray too far from the Wimpy Kid elements, the Big Nate books are your best bet: school mishaps, comics and illustrations, and heaps of sarcasm.
♥ ♥ ♥ Is there anything Jennifer Holm can’t do? Um, no. Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf is one of my favorite books to recommend. It’s completely told through stuff, kinda like the Regarding the… books. It’s just plain fun and super quick to read. The tater tots on the cover make me hungry.
♥ ♥ ♥ Boy meets girl, but I hope he doesn’t eat girl. Get it? Because he’s a zombie! Brains for Lunch is a pun-tastic story told totally in haikus. A quick read and a good first introduction to the world of haikus.
♥ ♥ ♥ Others included: Titles from the Dear Dumb Diary and Ellie McDoodle series, The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future, and Meanwhile (Laminated tabs with over 3000 plot possibilities! Get into it!). I would have liked to use The Dork Diaries but those are as hard to get hold of as the Wimpy Kid books. Yikes!
What did I forget?