Meet Jeff Kinney, Author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days in Theaters Aug. 3rd! #WimpyKidDogDays

 

     This past Monday, we had the opportunity to attend an exclusive screening of the new 20th Century Fox film, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days which will be opening in theaters across the country on Friday, August 3rd.  The movie was a big hit with all the kids and adults alike but, you’ll have to see for yourself this Friday!

 

 

    Nobody could have possibly anticipated the widespread success of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series of books which have catapulted their author, Jeff Kinney into being named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2009.  This was no surprise considering that, in the four years since the publication of his first book in this series, there are 52 million copies in print and has been translated in over 37 languages.

 

photo credit: Matt Hoyle
    As a Literacy Teacher, I have had quite a bit of experience with this series in my own classroom.  Although I teach English Language Arts to seventh and eighth graders, I often have students in my class who are at-risk and cannot read or write on grade level.  I have Special Education students who have been mainstreamed into regular education classes and have IEPs (Individual Education Plan) who require individualized instruction.  Additionally, they require reading materials that cater to different learning modalities.

 

My sons and I with Jeff Kinney, Zachary Gordon (Greg), and Robert Capron (Rowley)
 

    At the Round Table Interview with Jeff Kinney, I had the opportunity to share with him that I feel that many aspects of his books are appealing to at-risk students and children who are struggling readers.  Furthermore, I told him that the drawings and visual aids in his books help my reluctant readers to feel successful despite the fact that they might be reading books that are below their grade level.

 

Zachary Gordon, Jeff Kinney, and Robert Capron at the press conference.
 

    During the interview he stated that he was looking to depict the “typical Nuclear Family” in his series.  I responded that, by showing the imperfections of a regular family, he broadened the books’ appeal to include even kids from low income neighborhoods who are not a part of a traditional Nuclear Family.  I asked him if he had any idea that his books would eventually appeal to such a vast audience…

    His response was that he aimed at making the books “timeless” and “seamless” in an effort to create characters and situations that young people could totally relate to while, at the same time, making them “generic” enough to appeal to all walks of children.  He feels that this has helped the books to “travel all over the world to different audiences.”

My boys with Kaye Capron, actor Robert Capron’s mother who plays Rowley in the film.

    He has certainly made the series timeless and this Friday, August 3rd audiences everywhere will have the chance to see all of their favorite characters in the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days!  We are once again introduced to Greg Heffley, the hero of the successful book series, as he hatches a plan to pretend like he has landed a job at a local country club during his summer vacation.  His plan backfires and he doesn’t avoid summer’s dog days such as an embarrassing trip to the local pool and a nightmarish camping trip.

 

    Make sure you take your whole family to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days this Friday, August 3rd!  You can create your own Wimpy Kid character from the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid at Wimp Yourself.  Also, like Wimpy Kid on Facebook and follow them on Twitter using the handle @WimpyKidMovie and the hashtag #WimpyKidDogDays!

Product Review/Giveaway disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above from 20th Century Fox to test/review in exchange for my opinion and for the purpose of writing this post. I only recommend products or services I use personally and I believe will be “family friendly.” I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  • terrik

    My son loves those books!  What’s really interesting, is that Jeff Kinney was a fan of  Lincoln Pierce, the author of the Big Nate series.  Jeff wrote to Mr. Pierce asking advice and that started correspondence between the two.  Kinney promised to pay Pierce back someday and they lost touch for awhile.  Kinney went on to help create the Poptropica website (that my son is addicted to).  Then when Kinney was on a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book tour, he visited with Pierce who didn’t know about the success of the Wimpy Kid books.  Pierce was still writing Big Nate, but didn’t have a book contract.  Kinney used Poptropica to feature Big Nate and the kids went crazy for it, resulting in a book deal for Lincoln Pierce.  Now they are both bestselling authors.

    The lady who runs my local independent bookstore told that story to my son and I, I just thought it was wonderful that they both are so popular and successful now, largely because one man took the time to read a fan letter and another man took the time to pay that man back a favor.

    • http://toughcookiemommy.com/ Maria – Tough Cookie Mommy

      Hi, Terrik.  Thank you so much for sharing that story with us.  I can tell you that it definitely does not surprise me because Mr. Kinney was very humble and down to earth in real life.  He totally seemed like someone who would “pay it forward.”  My sons and my students also love his books and I love that they appeal to such a wide audience.  It’s wonderful to see that good still exists in the world.  I’m so glad you enjoyed the post.