The epistolary form is seldom attempted in children’s literature, but Diary of a Wimpy Kid proves that it has some serious merit. Greg Heffley, the diarist, presents to us his diary (complete with hilarious illustrations) of a year — per book.
It’s a laugh-out-loud, highly relatable story that has enchanted countless children and adults alike over the years, but sadly, a diary is finite and must come to an end.
Exiting the world set out by Gregg can leave you with a wicked sense of reader’s whiplash, but fret not, as there are some awesome books very similar to Diary of a Wimpy Kid that you can use to smooth out your departure from Gregg’s life.
OUR TOP PICK
First and foremost, Stephen Pastis is a cartoonist, so rest assured, you’ll be treated to lots of hilarious doodles in his book, Timmy Failure, just as you were in Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
The story follows the eponymous 11-year-old detective trying to solve a who-done-it case with the help of his partner, a lethargic polar bear named Total, forming a mystery-busting team known as, wait for it… Total Failure.It sounds like a hoot and a holler, and it is, but the real magic of this story lies in the poignant moments between the belly laughs. Creative, thoughtful, and hilarious, any lover of DoaWK will adore this book.
The aptly titled The Last Kids on Earth follows four middle school children fighting the good fight amidst a monster apocalypse that has claimed the lives of every other child on the planet.
While this sounds a little darker than Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the cartoony illustrations and clean action make it perfectly suitable for middle-grade readers.
It’s also funnier than you might assume, with tons of jokes and situational comedy to keep the laughs a-comin’!
If the thought of a 13-story tree house sounds heavenly to a child as an isolated concept, wait until they hear what Andy and Terry have within their unusual home.
Earn an invite inside and you’ll be met by a bowling alley, a completely transparent swimming pool, a tank teeming with man-eating sharks, a veggie vaporizer, a secret laboratory, and perhaps best of all, a marshmallow machine.
Now, if you’re wondering what exactly a marshmallow machine is, simply enter the tree house and think hungry thoughts. Before you know it, this sweet treat gun has filled your gob with yummy marshmallows — Chomp!
Dwight is a 6th grader with his head in the clouds. His cohort thinks he’s a little bit bonkers, as he’s always doing strange things, such as requesting they call him Captain Dwight, or wearing the same clothes for weeks on end.
However, strange isn’t always bad, and what is perhaps his strangest move to date has his entire grade lining up to consult him. Well, not him per se, but his origami finger puppet of Yoda from Star Wars.
As he is in the infamous franchise, Dwight’s Yoda puppet is wise beyond measure, and gives sage advice to all who seek it, but where is all this really coming from? Could this origami Yoda be real in some way, or is Dwight more intelligent than he’s letting on?
Big Nate is a loveable 6th-grader whose mischief knows no bounds. It’s not that he’s trying to cause trouble; trouble just seems to find him, especially in school, and once it has him in its sights, it’s utterly relentless.
He’s no teacher’s pet, but readers can’t help but be on Nate’s side, as he has the cool demeanor of someone destined for greatness, and that’s because a fortune cookie told him it was so!
If you’ve read the Judy Moody series, you’ll already be familiar with the protagonist of Stink (also named Stink) by Megan McDonald.
Stink is Judy’s little brother, and this series is all about his wacky antics. As he’s a bit younger, this spin-off book suits a younger audience than those following his sister, so the older DoaWK fans may not enjoy it, but the younger ones absolutely will!
Dan Gutman’s My Weird School series has it all… wacky adventures, loopy teachers, a principle that smooches pigs, hilarity page after page, and as there are so many spinoff companions series, it’s basically endless.
They’re not the most challenging read, but they’re incredibly enjoyable and a surefire way to keep your child interested in books.
Dork Diaries chronicles the high drama life of one Nikki Maxwell as she navigates the typical middle-school trials and tribulations, including BFF bust-ups, mean girls, and of course, first love.
It’s a very girl-centric story, which isn’t to say that male fans of Diary of a Wimpy Boy won’t enjoy it, but it likely won’t appeal to them. For the female DoaWB fans, though, it’s a home run!
Alvin lives a split existence. At home, he’s Firecracker Man, a loud and rambunctious superhero, but everywhere else, he’s a big fraidy cat, especially in school!
He’ll do whatever he can to avoid elevators, tunnels, and, more than anything else, girls. He can’t even muster the courage to talk to his classmates, sort of making him the spiritual sibling of Gregg from DoaWK.
However, with the help of his family, he might just be able to make a small crack in his shell. Whether he can break free entirely comes down to him!
Best friends parted for the first time, Astrid - who has recently fallen in love with roller derby - goes to derby camp, while Nicole prefers dance camp. How will distance affect their BFF-hood, and can Astrid keep up with the older skaters at camp?
Read this tale of friendship, girl power, and perseverance to find out!
It’s never enjoyable when something great comes to an end, especially if it's as amazing as the Diary of a Wimpy Boy series.
However, an end isn’t just an end, but an opportunity to seize a new beginning, and the books listed here today are all amazing options for your post-DoaWK reading life!