“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel,” the 7th book in Jeff Kinney‘s series for kids, hits stores this week. The hugely successful series joins plenty of tales of underdogs who took center stage. Here are a few to keep your kids rooting for unlikely heroes.
“The Dork Diaries,” by Rachel Renee Russell
If Greg Heffley had a female counterpart, it would be Nikki Maxwell, protagonist of the Dork Diaries series. Nikki encounters mean girls, crushes, schoolwork and plenty other oh-so-awkward moments that she takes in stride.
“Big Nate: In a Class By Himself,” by Lincoln Peirce
Told in comic strip form, the Big Nate series centers around the eponymous character, a sixth-grader who always seems to find himself up to his ears in middle school problems.
“Middle School: Get Me Out of Here!,” by James Patterson
Thriller author James Patterson might be well-known for the Alex Cross series, but the author has a soft spot for young readers: In the follow-up to last year’s “Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life,” readers return to the world of Rafe Khatchadorian, a smart and sometimes misguided seventh grader who jumps at the chance to take on new challenges.
“Geek Chic: The Zoey Zone,” by Margie Palatini
Margie Parlatini’s “Geek Chic” encapsulates all that is awkward about middle school in Zoey, a girl with bad hair who wants to be part of the “in” crowd. Does she have what it takes to go from clueless to cool? And is being popular really all it’s cracked up to be?
“The Popularity Papers,” by Amy Ignatow
Best friends Lydia and Julie are very different–Lydia likes theater, Julie likes playing field hockey. But they have one thing in common: a deep desire to be the crème de la crème of their fifth grade class. This book records their observations, experiments and failures in their quest to be cool.