"Reluctant readers are just kids who have so many entertainment options—the Internet, television, video games—they don’t see the values of reading," says Jeff Kinney, author of the best-selling novel cartoon series Diary of a Wimpy Kid now a motion picture being filmed by 20th Century Fox that will open in Philippine theaters by April 3, 2010.
The book slowly made its way to being in the best-seller list that started at No. 391 last April 2007 and steadily crept its way up. The book benefited much from the word-of-mouth recommendations that by the end of August 2007, Wimpy kid jumped to No. 81. By the time Kinney released his second Wimpy book titled Rodrick Rules, it hurled onto be No. 7 in the best seller list of which he shared the year’s (2008) top 25 best selling authors including Barack Obama and Stephanie Meyer (Twilight series).
The books have been translated into 28 languages such that the language barrier had been broken for most parts of the world turning non-readers to avid bookworms overnight. Having climbed onto the bestseller list, the book was not spared from criticisms as well. But Kinney explains, "Greg isn’t a character to be emulated. But I think the kids get that. They’re more sophisticated than we think. They laugh at Bart Simpson, but they know they’re not supposed to be like Bart Simpson."
"Greg is like Holden Caulfield (character from J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye), what he doesn’t like in others he’s guilty of himself. Kids recognize that. And when you identify with something, you can rise above it. I’ve also used words I wouldn’t want to hear from my own kids. But some of which are just typical words that elementary or middle school kids use like ’morons,’ ’booger’ and ’farted’—though not on the school spelling lists. I used such words to make Greg’s voice sound authentic. Greg isn’t perfect and kids know that and I think that’s why they like him," Kinney finally notes.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid stars Greg Heffley (played by Zachary Gordon), a middle-school student whose life is filled with suburban misadventures. Greg, started to chronicle his daily exploits upon the recommendation of his mother (played by Rachael Harris) to keep a diary as he enters middle school. Having such an enthusiastic mom whom he usually feels embarrassed by, a dad (played bySteve Zahn) who’s ogling him to be an athlete and sandwiched between an older and younger brothers, Greg’s diary bursts with wisecracking entries from day in and day out.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a 20th Century Fox film to be distributed by Warner Bros. in the Phils.