Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Cabin Fever

by Jeff Kinney

Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever

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Ages 9-12

Greg Heffley, Snowed in and Waiting for Santa

Fans of the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series have embraced this most recent installation in the life of Greg Heffley, the kid who knows he is better than everyone else, even if no one else sees (or rewards) his superiority. The usual cast of characters is back: his well-meaning but often clueless mother, his high-expectation and sometimes hypocritical father, his bratty brothers, and his very weird friend, Rowley.

Book review - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever

It’s December, and Greg is trying to maximize Santa’s bounty while minimizing any actual commitment to good behavior. What he really wants is credits for his favorite online game, Net Critterz, so that his virtual pet Chihuahua can get more stuff and be happier.

Santa's spy, background color added

It’s not easy, though, when his mother employs the motivational tool of Santa’s Scout, an incredibly creepy elf doll whose “job is to watch how kids behave and then report back to Santa at the North Pole,” and it certainly doesn’t help that his older brother, Rodrick, is feeding Santa’s Scout false reports on Greg’s behavior and hiding the doll in unexpected places around the house.

Whether Greg can earn enough brownie points to get on Santa’s good list is questionable.

It’s not that he doesn’t have a caring compassionate side. He cares very much for his virtual Chihuahua, and he remembers, fondly, his relationship with Baby Alfrendo, a gift his mother bought him before baby Manny was born, in a misguided attempt to get him “ready for having a baby brother.” Despite his disgust and his best intentions, Greg had gotten really attached to Alfrendo until one day the doll disappeared (his dad is later implicated in the crime).

Book review - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever

There’s always a balance to his bad behavior. His good deeds seem to go wrong (like helping old ladies get to places they don’t want to go and can’t get back from), his seemingly innocuous choices have even more unfortunate consequences (like when he tries to hold a holiday bazaar and ends up accused of vandalism), and his most selfish actions end up with the occasional positive consequence (like when he shovels the church parking lot in a ski mask looking for money and is mistaken for an anonymous good Samaritan intent on helping the soup kitchen open on Christmas Eve).

The mixed up family dynamic in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever is revealed a little more when Greg, along with his mother and brothers, end up snowed in their house with no heat and no food, while his father is safely holed up at a hotel. Will they all starve to death, or freeze first? Will Santa find his way through the blizzard, or has Greg already ended up on the naughty list? And will his unintentional good deed go unnoticed or unrewarded? The answers are all here in this irreverent, well-loved story about a boy who’s always the center of his own world.

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