Books To Read After “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”

If you’re a fan of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, you’re likely in search of other books that can offer the same blend of humor, relatable middle-school situations, and engaging illustrations. Diary of a Wimpy Kid has become a popular series because it captures the trials and tribulations of growing up with a candidness and humor that resonates with many readers.

In this blog post, we’ll explore books that possess similar elements to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and might just become your new favorites. So, if you’re looking for what to read next, you’re in the right place!

Understanding ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’

Key Characteristics

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a series of fiction books written by American author Jeff Kinney. The books are filled with hand-written notes and simple, funny drawings about the protagonist’s daily life.


One of the most loved aspects of Diary of a Wimpy Kid is its humor. The protagonist, Greg Heffley, often finds himself in awkward or ridiculous situations that are highly amusing.

Diary Format

The diary or journal format of the book gives readers an intimate view of Greg’s thoughts, feelings, and perspective on his world, which is a large part of the book’s appeal.

Age of the Characters

The characters in Diary of a Wimpy Kid are in middle school, which makes it easy for young readers to relate to their experiences, struggles, and triumphs.

School Setting

The school setting is a major part of the series. Readers enjoy following Greg’s interactions with his peers, teachers, and the often amusing or challenging situations he faces in school.

Criteria for Recommended Books

When suggesting books to read after Diary of a Wimpy Kid, we need to consider a few key criteria to ensure we’re recommending books that will appeal to the same readers.

Similar Themes

The recommended books should ideally contain themes similar to those found in Diary of a Wimpy Kid. This includes navigating middle school, dealing with friends and family, and the general coming-of-age experiences that Greg Heffley goes through.

Similar Writing Style

The humor and casual diary-style narration of Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a big part of its appeal. Therefore, recommended books should ideally also employ a similar writing style, incorporating humor and perhaps even using a first-person narrative format.

Age-Appropriate Content

Finally, the books recommended should have age-appropriate content. This means they should be suitable for the same age range as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, which is typically 8 to 12 years old, and not contain material that would be unsuitable or too challenging for readers in that age group.

Book Recommendations

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson


“Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life” by James Patterson is a humorous novel about a boy named Rafe Khatchadorian. As Rafe prepares to start sixth grade, he decides to create a game where he’ll earn points for breaking every rule in the school’s code of conduct. With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to pull off his stunts without getting caught.

Similarities and Differences with “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”

Much like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life” is packed with humor and school-based adventures. The story takes readers through the ups and downs of Rafe’s life in middle school, making it highly relatable to readers who enjoyed Greg Heffley’s experiences.

However, it differs in that Rafe’s story introduces an element of game-playing and rule-breaking, which adds an extra layer of excitement and intrigue to the plot. Also, the book incorporates some more serious themes alongside the humor, adding depth to the story.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger


“The Strange Case of Origami Yoda” by Tom Angleberger is an entertaining story about a sixth-grader named Dwight, who creates a Yoda figure out of paper. Surprisingly, this origami Yoda is wise and gives excellent advice. The story is told through the perspectives of multiple characters, creating a fun and engaging narrative.

Similarities and Differences with “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”

Like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, “The Strange Case of Origami Yoda” presents the middle-school experience with humor and authenticity. The book’s unique premise and quirky characters will appeal to fans of Greg Heffley’s humorous misadventures.

One of the main differences is the way this book is structured – it is presented in a case-file format, with different characters contributing their points of view. This brings a varied perspective to the story, allowing readers to understand the events from multiple angles. Also, fans of Star Wars will particularly appreciate the book’s origami Yoda aspect.

Big Nate: In a Class by Himself by Lincoln Peirce


“Big Nate: In a Class by Himself” is the first book in a series by Lincoln Peirce. It introduces readers to Nate, a sixth-grader who believes he’s destined for greatness despite his penchant for getting into trouble at school. The book is filled with comic strips and hilarious situations that keep readers entertained.

Similarities and Differences with “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”

“Big Nate: In a Class by Himself” has a lot in common with “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”. Both feature a humorous and somewhat mischievous protagonist navigating the challenges of school and adolescence. The inclusion of comic strips in the narrative will be familiar and appealing to fans of Greg Heffley’s illustrated diary.

However, “Big Nate” stands out with its unique characters and Nate’s unshakeable belief in his own greatness, which adds a distinctive flavor to his misadventures. Nate’s world is filled with a variety of interesting characters that add depth and diversity to the story.

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis


“Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made” is the first book in a series by Stephan Pastis. The book follows Timmy Failure, a comically self-confident kid who runs his own detective agency with his sidekick, a giant polar bear. Timmy’s misinterpretations and mistakes are the source of much of the book’s humor.

Similarities and Differences with “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”

“Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made” shares a similar sense of humor with “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”. Both books depict their protagonist’s life through a mix of text and drawings, creating an engaging reading experience.

However, “Timmy Failure” introduces an element of fantasy through Timmy’s polar bear sidekick, adding an additional layer of fun and imagination to the story. The book’s focus on Timmy’s detective agency also provides a unique twist, blending the school setting with elements of mystery and adventure.

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renée Russell


“Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life” is the first book in the Dork Diaries series by Rachel Renée Russell. The story revolves around Nikki Maxwell, who chronicles her life through entertaining doodles and diary entries. The book offers a humorous and candid look at Nikki’s navigation of middle school, including dealing with mean girls, crushes, and family dynamics.

Similarities and Differences with “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”

“Dork Diaries” is similar to “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” in its diary format and blend of text with lively illustrations. Both books humorously portray the ups and downs of middle school life through the eyes of their protagonists.

However, “Dork Diaries” provides a female perspective of the middle school experience, offering a refreshing contrast to Greg Heffley’s narrative. This book is particularly appealing to readers who are interested in stories that explore friendship dynamics, self-expression, and the challenges of fitting in.

Why Graphic Novels?

Graphic novels have grown in popularity among young readers, and for good reasons. Let’s delve into why these visually engaging books are a hit.

Benefits for Young Readers

Graphic novels aren’t just fun to read; they also provide some key benefits for young readers.

  • Visual Storytelling: The combination of text and visuals in graphic novels can be especially engaging for young readers. The images can help readers understand the story better, making it a good choice for readers of varying abilities.
  • Develops Literacy Skills: Graphic novels often have complex plots and rich vocabulary, which can help young readers develop their literacy skills.
  • Encourages Reluctant Readers: For children who are hesitant to pick up a book, the vibrant illustrations and shorter text blocks of graphic novels can be less intimidating and more inviting.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier


“Smile” by Raina Telgemeier is a graphic novel based on the author’s own childhood. It chronicles Raina’s real-life experiences with severe dental problems, resulting in a long and challenging journey involving surgery, braces, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth.

Similarities and Differences with “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”

“Smile” shares the theme of middle-school life with “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”. The challenges and triumphs Raina faces are both unique and universal, which will resonate with young readers. Like Greg, Raina navigates friendships, family, and the awkwardness of growing up.

One of the main differences is that “Smile” is a graphic novel, told entirely through vibrant illustrations and dialogue. It’s also based on the author’s real-life experiences, lending an additional level of authenticity to the story.

Additional Recommendations

In addition to the primary recommendations, here are ten more books that Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans will likely enjoy, each with a brief summary and reason for selection.

Frindle by Andrew Clements

This story follows a creative boy named Nick Allen who invents a new word for a pen – “frindle”. It’s selected for its engaging plot, humor, and the main character’s inventive spirit which resonates with the energy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John

A funny story about a prankster navigating his new school. It’s recommended for its humor and relatable school setting, similar to Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

This book is a collection of funny and slightly absurd stories from a very unusual school. It’s recommended for its humor and unique storytelling style.

The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow

This series, told in diary format, follows the lives of two girls trying to navigate middle school. It’s chosen for its relatable themes, diary format, and for providing a female perspective on middle school life.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

While a departure from the school setting, this touching story about a gorilla’s life in a mall is selected for its heartwarming narrative and unique perspective, likely to engage Diary of a Wimpy Kid readers.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

This book offers a moving story about a boy with facial differences attending school for the first time. Selected for its powerful narrative and themes of friendship and acceptance, it offers depth for Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans.

Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel by Ruth McNally Barshaw

Told in doodle-filled diary format, this book follows Ellie’s adventures when her family goes camping. It’s chosen for its engaging format and relatable, humorous storytelling.

The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

An imaginative story about two friends living in an incredible treehouse. Recommended for its creative plot and humor that can captivate Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans.

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

A series following a young Viking and his mischievous dragon, selected for its adventurous plot, humor, and captivating illustrations similar to Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

The Secret Series by Enid Blyton

An adventure-filled series about a group of children who solve mysteries. It’s chosen for its exciting plot and memorable characters, providing an engaging read for Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans.


After finishing Diary of a Wimpy Kid, there’s a world of other entertaining and engaging books for young readers to dive into. Each of the books recommended in this blog post shares common elements with Jeff Kinney’s series, including humor, the trials of middle school life, and unique, relatable protagonists.

Exploring these books will not only provide hours of enjoyment but also expand young readers’ perspectives through diverse characters and narratives. Whether they prefer traditional novels, books with a similar diary format, or graphic novels, there’s something for every Diary of a Wimpy Kid fan on this list.

Happy reading!

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