Oh, dear me! Another Ã¢€œWimpy KidÃ¢€ book? What is this now, number 8? How many more will there be? I wonder if down the road weÃ¢€™ll be reading Ã¢€œDiary of a Wimpy Senior CitizenÃ¢€ about Greg HeffleyÃ¢€™s activities while living in a nursing home (I made a similar comment in my review of the previous Ã¢€œWimpy KidÃ¢€ book too). These Ã¢€œWimpy KidÃ¢€ books are apparently extremely popular, and many people evidently like them. As you may tell, however, I do not, yet the publisher keeps sending me each new one for review. In Hard Luck, the story revolves around the fact GregÃ¢€™s best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him because Rowley now has a girlfriend, Abigail. A lot of godly parents strenuously object to childrenÃ¢€™s books which emphasize the dating/going steady scene for kids, especially as young as middle school.
Along the way, the plot, what little of it there is, meanders through a Rottweiler named Rebel, the Mingo kids who live in the woods on the way to school, the HeffleyÃ¢€™s strange relatives, a bunch of students who run an old assignments recycling racket in an unused school storeroom, even GregÃ¢€™s new friend Fregley who can blow bubbles by Ã¢€œchewingÃ¢€ gum with his belly button, and a Ã¢€œMagic 8 Ball.Ã¢€ There are some references to Ã¢€œdog poop,Ã¢€ and the euphemistic Ã¢€œdarn itÃ¢€ is used once. Greg reads all the books in Ã¢€œthe Slumber Party Pal seriesÃ¢€ and thinks that popularity is based on stuff like what kinds of brand-name clothes one wears or what kind of cell phone he has. One of GregÃ¢€™s aunts is into psychics, and his Gramma supposedly has ESP. Also a reference to playing the lottery occurs. A lot of parents I know would just as soon that their children NOT have many of these kinds of things paraded before them.
As IÃ¢€™ve said of the other Ã¢€œWimpy KidÃ¢€ books that IÃ¢€™ve reviewed, Hard Luck isnÃ¢€™t an evil or even necessarily a bad story. However, the book illustrates all the things about public school life which have caused so many parents to pull their kids out and homeschool them so that they can have more positive experiences. Also, as we were raising our boys, we had much better hopes for our family than what the Heffleys exemplify. If what happens to them and what they do are Ã¢€œnormal,Ã¢€ it may well help to explain why our culture is headed downward. Each family will have to decide whether the Ã¢€œWimpy KidÃ¢€ books are appropriate for their children or not, but I donÃ¢€™t really recommend them. From a Biblical worldview and even a literary standpoint, so much truly good, beneficial childrenÃ¢€™s literature is available that it is a shame to waste oneÃ¢€™s reading time on what amounts to junk.show more
by Wayne S. Walker