Jeff Kinney, The Meltdown (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #13) , Puffin Books, October 2018, 217 pp., RRP $14.99 (pbk), ISBN 9780143309352
In the thirteenth of his Diary of a Wimpy Kid series Kinney’s hapless protagonist, teenager Greg Heffley, must survive ‘the meltdown.’ Hand written with drawings of his musings, we follow both the big and small of Greg’s day. Opening with the issue of global warming and melting of the polar ice-caps, Kinney soon gently redirects the readers focus to more local issues; like dealing with annoying parents, navigating friendships and how to survive at school. But the ultimate battle is yet to come. A battle of life and death, when neighborhood kids stage the ultimate snow fight. Behind their forts strategies are hatched and snow bombs made as Greg and his friend Rowley navigate the storm of alliances, betrayals and how to deal with running out of ammunition.
A master of narrative, tone and pace, Kinney takes his reader on a wild journey with the lightest of touches and a gentle humour. This is a book that will appeal to first time readers of the Wimpy Kid series as well as its loyal followers. The book’s deceptively simple format, humour and focus on everyday issues may appeal to reluctant readers. A great addition to home or school library.
Highly recommended 9+
Reviewed by Mem Capp