NeXt readers love Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books.
That's what we found out from the response to our "Wimpy Kid" project.
More than 100 readers sent in "Wimpy Kid"-style diary entries, many with cartoon drawings. Some sent diaries of several pages as they wrote about funny or embarrassing things that happened -- or could happen -- to them or their friends or to original "Wimpy Kid" Greg Heffley and his brothers or classmates. They wrote about bullies, bad Christmas gifts, pets, gym class, the school cafeteria and more.
Our thanks to "Wimpy Kid" publisher Amulet/Harry N. Abrams for donating "Wimpy Kid" books that went to Alden Middle, Newfane, City Honors, Orchard Park's Windom Elementary, West Seneca West Elementary and Frontier School District's Cloverbank Elementary in Hamburg teachers.
Book prizes will be mailed based on a random drawing of names of those who sent reviews. Here are some diary entries and excerpts of entries.
Tom Griffin, Grade 4, West Seneca West Elementary:
"You're probably wondering why I'm in a car instead of sleeping in bed. I was sleeping peacefully until Mom woke me up. I saw a smile on her face so I knew something bad was going to happen. When we were eating breakfast she said she signed me up for religion class and today was my first day. I almost slipped out of my chair when I heard those words.
When I got there I saw Rowley in my classroom. Guess his mom forced him to go, too.
In the middle of class I started to daydream. The teacher called my name. I didn't know what we were doing so to avoid looking like a moron I said I was confused. I ended up looking stupid because she said we were choosing our favorite emotion. Then everyone looked at me like I was an alien."
Maria Blahowicz, Grade 7, Alden Middle School:
"One day at school, my cousin was the substitute teacher. He embarrassed me in front of the whole class by saying that I was a flower girl in second grade."
Jason Knavel, Grade 5, Windom Elementary, Orchard Park:
"I went to the mall and tried to get a pet. I got this cool Blue Gill. My little brother got a goldfish. When we got home, my dad got the old fish tank out of the basement. We got it up and running, but the filter needed to be changed, so we needed to go to the pet store and get a new filter. We put the fish in. They loved it! The next morning I woke up to feed my fish and it was dead! I said, "Oh my gosh, my fish is dead!" My brother's fish is still alive.
Grace Hull, Grade 5, SS. Peter and Paul School, Hamburg:
"One day my aunt went shopping. When she came out to the parking lot, she tried to unlock the car door with the push button, but it wouldn't open. So then she tried to use the key and it still wouldn't open. Then I said, 'maybe this isn't your car.' And it wasn't! So we went walking around the parking lot looking for my aunt's car. It was so funny at the time, I just couldn't stop laughing! Then we finally found her car, drove home and had a funny story to tell when we got there!"
Noah Mendlewski, Grade 3, Parkdale Elementary, East Aurora:
So my dad and I were putting up our Christmas decorations, and the last thing we set up was the train. The only problem was, we could not get it to stay on track. So Dad got so mad he wanted to throw it out!
But I had a better idea. My little cousin Zach always wants to play with my toys when he comes over, so I thought to wrap up the old train and give it to him for Christmas.
When Christmas finally came and Zach opened the present, he screamed with delight, "MY VERY OWN TRAIN."
Zach's mom, my aunt Sue, gave me an evil stare -- like she knew where the train came from.
Alex Brown, Grade 7, Fredonia Central School, Fredonia:
(Alex submitted his own book titled "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Beginning." Here is an excerpt:
Rodrick, Manny and I went to Grandma's. Mom and Dad dropped us off at Grandma's and then took off for the airport. Grandma pampers Manny, so she quickly gave him some cookies and let him watch TV. Grandma didn't know that Manny wasn't supposed to have sugar so that was a mistake. Manny peeled out all the chocolate chips and M&M's and ate those. Well after that he was bouncing off the wall and we couldn't calm him down. I guess that's what you get for giving candy to a 2-year-old.
James Lyon, Grade 5, SS. Peter and Paul, Hamburg:
When I went to preschool my teacher was a very nice lady who was a peace and love sort of person. She ate organic food, granola bars and a lot of gross vegetables. She rode a bike many miles to school because she said cars are bad for the Earth. She responded to every spill, broken thing or disaster with the remark, "no biggie." Every day before story time, she had all the kids in the class say together, "Breathing in I calm my body, breathing out I smile." At the same time we had to take 10 deep breaths. My teacher also taught us about "I messages." If someone was mean to you and took away your toy, you were supposed to say, "I feel sad when you take away my toy." When I went to real school, I learned that "I messages" don't really work. A bully hit me with his metal lunch box so I said. "I feel sad when you hit me." He replied: "Shut up, goldielocks, you are so weird." I said "Take a deep breath and say 'Breathing in I calm my body, breathing out I smile." He did take a deep breath! But then he slugged me. I learned that preschool was preschool and kindergarten was a whole different world.