J’nai’s post on Tuesday about journaling got me thinking about books for children and teens that are written in a diary format. Its popularity as a format has grown recently due to several factors – they’re easy to read, they bring an immediacy to the characters and setting, etc. Probably most important is that kids and young adults like them. One of the most popular books to come out recently is Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffly’s Journal and its sequel Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, both by Jeff Kinney. Both books have waiting lists and are a big hit with middle school age kids, especially boys who enjoy the humor and the cartoons that appear throughout the books. Listing all the books the library owns would make for a very long list, so I’ll just list a few of my favorites.
Diary of a Worm by Dorren Cronin: A young worm discovers, day by day, that there are some very good and some not so good things about being a worm in this great big world.
Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee: In a series of journal entries, eleven-year-old child prodigy Millicent Min records her struggles to learn to play volleyball, tutor her enemy, deal with her grandmother’s departure, and make friends over the course of a tumultuous summer.
Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman: The thirteen-year-old daughter of an English country knight keeps a journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off.
And here are a couple for teens:
Breathing Underwater by Alex Flynn: Sent to counseling for hitting his girlfriend, Caitlin, and ordered to keep a journal, sixteen-year-old Nick recounts his relationship with Caitlin, examines his controlling behavior and anger, and describes living with his abusive father.
Planet Janet by Dyan Sheldon: Sixteen-year-old Janet Bandry keeps a diary as she deals with an annoying family, school, a quirky best friend, and trying to find herself through vegetarianism, literature, romance, and her “Dark Phase.”