Who can resist the perfect combination of words and pictures? Add a spunky hero with a few problems, and you’ve got worthy Wimpy Kid follow-ups.
Your next picture book:
In Luke on the Loose, a boy follows a flock of pigeons in an increasingly wild chase out of New York’s Central Park, through Manhattan, and all the way across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Your next chapter book:
The Brilliant World of Tom Gates is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid gone British, with a doodling, diary-ing hero who just wants to make it through middle school alive.
Your next readaloud:
Timmy Failure would like to believe that he’s the greatest detective in the world, but he’d be wrong. Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made has delightful illustrations on every page but enough story to make reasonable for a readaloud.
Your next teen read:
Nimona is a smart, sassy comic about a shape-shifting girl who teams up with a not-so-evil villain to take down a not-so-great hero. It may just turn out to be your new favorite fantasy story.
Your next grown-up book:
In the weird, unresolved Sacred Heart, teenager Ben is just trying to survive adolescence while her parents—and all the other adults in town—are off on a four-year pilgrimage. This coming-of-age story nails the awkward ordinariness and utter strangeness of being a teenager.
AMY SHARONY is the founder and editor-in-chief of home | school | life magazine. She's a pretty nice person until someone starts pluralizing things with apostrophes, but then all bets are off.