Check It Out: 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' Read-Alikes

7:59 AM, Mar. 25, 2013  |  Comments
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If you enjoy reading about the dysfunctional absurdities of middle school, try Gordon Korman's "Schooled." One day 13-year-old Cap is living a free-spirited, easy-going life at his grandma's dilapidated but cheery commune. The next, due to his grandmother being injured in a freak plum-picking accident, Cap is enrolled in a huge public middle school and living temporarily with the school's social worker and her jaded daughter. Cap doesn't know that at Claverage Middle School, the biggest outcast is always elected class president, and the students and teachers alike don't know that Cap's perceptive and good-natured attitude will rearrange the social and educational order. Told from the perspectives of a variety of characters, from Cap himself to the school's top athlete to students all over the popularity spectrum, "Schooled" is both amusing and unexpectedly layered.

More "Wimpy Kid" Read-Alikes

"Bad Kitty" by Nick Bruel: Bad Kitty is a magnet for disaster. Series begins with "Bad Kitty Needs a Bath."

"Big Nate" by Lincoln Peirce: Nate is the classic clever kid who hates school and whose antics land him in increasingly hotter water with grumbly teachers. Series begins with "In a Class by Himself."

"Black Lagoon Adventures" by Mike Thaler: Follow Hubie on his adventures in the Black Lagoon, where rumors can make a student create a monster of any teacher. Series begins with "The Class Trip from the Black Lagoon."

"Bone" by Jeff Smith: The three Bone cousins are separated and lost in a vast uncharted desert. One by one, they find their way into a deep, forested valley where they come face to face with grand adventures. Series begins with "Out From Boneville."

"Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading" by Tom Greenwald: A fast-moving look at middle-school life through the eyes of a kid who would rather clean his room than pick up a book. Series begins with "Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading."

"Dragonbreath" by Ursula Vernon: It's not easy for Danny Dragonbreath to be the sole mythical creature in a school for reptiles and amphibians. Series begins with "Dragonbreath."

"The First Day of School Forever" by R.L. Stine: Today is just like the day before. Can Artie find a way to change it, before it's the first day of school . . . forever?

"Guys Read" Anthologies compiled by Jon Scieszka: Three thematic short-story collections "Sports Pages," "Thrillers," and "Funny Business," ensure there is a selection of short stories for every guy's tastes.

"Holes" by Louis Sachar: Stanley Yelnats is cursed with bad luck, including being sent to a boy's detention camp in the middle of nowhere. The boys are ordered to dig holes all day long, but Stanley wants to find out the warden's real motives.

"How to Survive Middle School" by Donna Gephart: Eleven-year-old David Greenberg dreams of becoming a TV superstar like his idol, Jon Stewart. But in real life, David is just another kid terrified of starting his first year at Harman Middle School.

"Killer Pizza" by Greg Taylor: Fourteen-year-old Toby Magill gets a summer job flipping dough at Killer Pizza, which is actually a front for a secret monster-hunting organization. Series begins with "Killer Pizza."

"Knights of the Lunch Table" by Frank Cammuso: Artie King's first day of middle school improves when he is able to open a magic locker with bully defeating powers. Series begins with "The Dodgeball Chronicles."

"Lunch Lady" by Elise Krosoczka: Lunch Lady doesn't just serve sloppy joes - she serves justice. Series begins with "Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute."

"Magic Pickle" by Scott Morse: Meet the Magic Pickle, a dilly of a superhero who's fighting the food fight against a brotherhood of evil fruits and vegetables who are plotting to take over the world. Series begins with "Magic Pickle."

"Meanwhile" by Jason Shiga: A "Choose Your Own Adventure" + graphic novel = 3,856 story possibilities.

"Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life" by James Patterson: With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school's oppressive Code of Conduct. Series begins with "Middle School: The Worst Years of my Life."

"Mischief Maker's Manual" by John Hargrave: This is the definitive guide to pranking and mayhem.

"My Life as a Book" by Janet Tashjian: Derek prefers real adventures to books, but finds some intriguing mystery in an old newspaper clipping. Illustrated by the author's 14-year-old son. Series begins with "My Life as a Book."

"My Weird School" by Dan Gutman: Second-grader A. J. hates school, but he has to admit that Miss Daisy isn't like any teacher he has had before. Series begins with "Miss Daisy Is Crazy."

"Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie" by David Lubar: Things couldn't get any worse for Nathan Abercrombie ... until he gets doused with an experimental serum that turns him into a half-dead zombie. Series begins with "My Rotten Life"

"The Nutty News" by Ron Barrett: Fake news with silly illustrations about French presidents who are gerbils, and other fantastical journalism.

"Origami Yoda" by Tom Angleberger: Dwight talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren't strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise. Series begins with "The Strange Case of Origami Yoda."

"Time Warp Trio" by Jon Scieszka: Can the "Time Warp Trio" escape death and destruction and still make it back to the 20th century for lunch? Series begins with "The Knights of the Kitchen Table"

"Weenies" by David Lubar: A collection of bizarre short stories that are as scary as they are funny. Series begins with "In the Land of the Lawn Weenies: and Other Warped and Creepy Tales."

"Babymouse" by Jennifer Holm: It's the same thing every day for Babymouse. Where is the glamor? The excitement? The adventure? Nothing ever changes, until ... Series begins with "Babymouse: Queen of the World."

"Bake Sale" by Sarah Varon: Cupcake's life is pretty good. He's got his bakery and his band and his best friend, Eggplant. But he can't help but feel that something is missing ...

"Dear Dumb Diary" by Jim Benton: Middle school may be grim, but it's no fairy tale. And crazy doesn't even begin to cover it. Series begins with "Dear Dumb Diary - Let's Pretend This Never Happened."

"Dork Diaries" by Rachel Russell: "Dork Diaries" follows eighth grader Nikki Maxwell as she chronicles through text and sketches, her move to a snooty new school. Series begins with "Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life."

"Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf" by Jennifer Holm: Diary entries, refrigerator notes, cards from Grandpa, and IM screen messages - convey a year full of ups and downs.

"Moxy Maxwell" by Peggy Elizabeth Gifford: The clock ticks down as Moxy, master procrastinator, tries to finish a first day of school book report on the last day of summer. Series begins with "Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little."

"Popularity Papers" by Amy Ignatow: Before they leave elementary school behind, two fifth-grade best friends are determined to uncover the secrets of popularity by observing, recording, discussing, and replicating the behaviors of the cool girls. Series begings with "Popularity Papers: Research?"

"Smile" by Raina Telgemeier: Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader, but braces get in the way in this autobiographical graphic novel.

"Write Before Your Eye"s by Lisa Williams Kline: Twelve-year-old Gracie is astonished to discover that her new journal has magical powers: it seems that if she writes something, it happens.

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