A student reads in the Centre for Learning Library

Posted on January 26, 2012 by rohan

Filed in 'Book Reviews'.

A bare review of the Wimpy kid series:

1. It promotes a culture of manipulating adults, fooling them, tricking friends, bullying them for fun, etc. through the main character. So when a young reader reads, they could turn this character into a role model and mimic that culture. Some parijathas thought this too…

2. Good literature should have langauge with metaphors, imagery, sound, description, setting, etc and there is none here so no examples of ‘good writing’. there is slang and derogatory langauge like: hot girls, cute butts, jerks, etc. which appears cool for a young reader.

3. We need to know who is writing so in this case the author is an online game developer and designer. It does not look like he has any training or experience in writing or literary worldliness (I am not sure, though, could research..). How it comes out in the book is that the main character is obsessed about violent video games so again there is a promotion of this…

4. What is considered important or thematic is his social world, he has the same notions and views throughout so there is no learning or evolution of this character. Any themes that could be picked up in a meaningful way are addressed very superficially by his parent so …dead ends, like: his brother’s attitude towards girls. So the scope of the book is narrow and does not trigger interest in other people, places or issues. When you read good lit. you feel you have learned something about the other person, place or theme but here all we know is how he feels and wallows in those feelings.

5. It is easy reading and language very simple so that might be the draw. Shouldn’t lit. challenge at least a bit?

6. There is no story line really. Lots of little events that don’t hang together in a bigger scheme so a reader is not learning about the nature of stories or the design of a novel.

7. There are books about young boys who are mischievous or have a secretive side to them so it is not like we want only goody goody characters. It is about how balanced the book is as a whole, how that character evolves, who the others are in the book, where it is taking place, what one learns about deeper issues, etc. On the other hand there are books that are light like, ‘George’s marvellous medicine’ which are about mischievous kids but are so outrageous that one would not try to mimic anything. It is almost fantasy.

8. Finally the older kids said it is like ‘time-pass’ reading. In which case, it should not be for someone beginning to read literature, not be the main thing they read, etc. Only for a reader who has the time and is reading good literature also.

Keerthi L. Mukunda

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