Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney

cover image

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Puffin, 2013. ISBN 9780143308089.
Recommended for 8-12 year old readers. Themes: School life, Friends.
Hard Luck is the eighth book in the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid graphic novel series. These books have encouraged many reluctant readers and have a huge fan base.
In this novel, once again Greg Hefley feels his luck is all bad. His best friend Rowley has found a girlfriend Abigail and to Greg's dismay has no time for him anymore. Without Rowley's support everything changes for the worse, from the seating arrangements at the lunch table, the consequences of the five-second rule to facing up to the fearsome Mingo kids on the way home from school. Greg is a kid with negative outlook on life. Losing his friend impacts on his life, how does he find a new one and how can he cope with life?
When Greg finds a Magic Eight Ball he uses it to find answers for a test and then he alters school yearbook photos in unappealing ways. His grades begin to slip and it's a downward spiral, nothing seems to be going his way. There are many comic elements throughout the story provided both by the easy to read text and by Jeff Kinney's cartoons. Fans are used to the toilet humour, difficult situations and cringe-worthy moments. In the end when faced with the opportunity to buy a second-hand science project Greg decides to change his behaviour. He knuckles down to catch up with all his missed school work and even gets his project in on time with a little help from his Mum.
Jeff Kinney's books are relatable, slightly crazy and entertaining for the pre-teen reader.
Rhyllis Bignell