Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is one of the best-loved kids book series and one of the most highly-requested in all of the public and school libraries I’ve worked in. Kids LOVE this series, and they’ll read them over and over again. There are currently 13 books in the series plus four movies, and if your kid hasn’t yet started reading them– they probably will soon.
Kids who like Wimpy Kid usually like it because it’s funny, easy to read (large font and illustrations sprinkled throughout), has quirky characters who get into oddball situations, and it’s fast-paced and exciting.
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These Diary of a Wimpy Kid readalikes are on this list because they have similar attributes: quirky characters, humor, easy-to-read format and have a pretty similar tone and style of the Wimpy Kid books. I’ve also included books at various reading levels, both higher and lower, to help readers at any stage of their reading journey.
There’s something here for everyone!
Books Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid
The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths. Andy and Terry live in the most amazing treehouse in the world. It has 13 stories with: a bowling alley, swimming pool, secret underground lab, thirteen flying cats, giant bananas, mermaids, sea monsters, huge gorillas, and much, much more. But all this amazing stuff means they keep getting distracted from writing their next book– and the deadline is coming up quick. A funny, silly story that’s the first in a series. Grades 3-5.
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look. Second grader Alvin Ho is afraid of EVERYTHING, but most of all he’s afraid of school. At school he’s so quiet that he never says a word, but at home he turns into FIRECRACKER MAN, a very loud superhero who can save the world. Good for younger kids who might not be up to reading a longer chapter book yet. Grades 1-4.
Big Nate: In a Class by Himself by Lincoln Pierce. Nate’s an accidental mischief-maker and can’t seem to stay out of trouble at school. A fortune cookie told him he’s destined for greatness, though, so he knows he’s meant for great things. He’s just gotta get through the school day first. Probably the next most-requested series after Wimpy Kid, and currently free for Kindle Unlimited members! Grades 3-7.
Clementine by Sara Pennypacker. ** Recommended read-aloud. ** Third-grader Clementine is NOT having a good week. She tried to help her friend Margaret but instead got in a lot of trouble and ended up in the principal’s office. Now she’s worried she might be “the hard one” in the family and all the art skills in the world won’t help smooth things over with her parents. Quirky and relatable, this would be a good book to read together or as a bedtime read-aloud book. Grades 2-4.
>> Discussion guides and resources for teachers and parents for the whole Clementine series are available at the author’s website.
Dear Dumb Diary: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jim Benton. Jamie Kelly’s diary is 100% true…well, mostly. In it, she writes about her feud with the school’s most popular kid, her troll-like little cousin, and her mom’s nasty casserole. A little sarcastic and a lot funny, this series is recommended for readers who like a grumpier heroine. Grades 4-7.
Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell. Probably the second most popular series right after Wimpy Kid! Dork Diaries stars 8th grader Nikki dealing with the typical middle school struggles and scenarios: crushes, friendship troubles, family woes, and mean girls. Presented in a funny way, of course, in diary format with doodle-style illustrations. Grades 4-8.
Hank Zipzer: Niagra Falls, or Does it? by Henry Winkler. Based partly off the author’s own experiences as a student with learning disabilities, this funny series stars Hank, a curious, accidental troublemaker who loves science but hates writing reports. Shorter than some other books on this list, which could be good for easing younger readers into chapter books. Grades 3-7.
Judy Moody Was in a Mood by Megan McDonald. Third grader Judy is an aspiring doctor, a collector of band-aids, and a feisty attitude about life. Fast paced and illustrated, good for younger kids who want a quick read. Snag a box-set if you can, as these go fast. Grades 1-4.
The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron. Julian has a big imagination, a gullible younger brother, and a proclivity for getting into trouble. This book is a Common Core State Standards Text Exemplar (Grades 2–3, Stories) in Appendix B, which might mean your kids are already familiar with the characters and setting. Grades 1-4.
Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park. Junie’s in kindergarten, super sassy, and prone to getting into trouble. An excllent choice for 1st graders who want to start reading chapter books. Grab a boxset because they’ll read through this series quick. Grades 1-4.
I Funny by James Patterson. Rafe Khatchadorian’s just starting middle school– and he’s determined to start trouble, too. He’s going to break every rule in his school’s oppressive Code of Conduct, while also dealing with bullies, first crushes, and trouble at home. But soon his game starts to catch up with him, and he has to face what he’s been avoiding. Another super popular series in my library! Grades 3-7.
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson. It feels a little like cheating to put another Patterson book on the list, but it’s VERY popular and VERY funny: middle schooler Jamie Grimm wants to become the world’s greatest standup comedian, so he’s determined to enter The Planet’s Funniest Kid Comic contest. But is he actually funny, or are the judges only grading him out of pity? Grades 3-7.
My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O’Hara. Frankie the goldfish is no longer a normal pet– not after Tom’s evil-scientist big brother tried to murder him with toxic gunge! Now Tom, Pradeep, and Sami have to race to save Frankie from being eaten by a hungry psychic octopus during their big brother’s latest evil plan. A kooky book for kids who’re tired of regular school settings in their books. Grades 3-4.
My Weird School by Dan Gutman. A.J. and his friends have to deal with VERY strange teachers in their school: a teacher who eats bonbons, a principal who kisses pigs, a librarian who thinks she’s George Washington, and an art teacher who dresses up in pot holders! A fun, humorous series which reminds me a little of a favorite book series from my childhood: the Bailey School Kids. Grades 1-5.
The Odd Squad by Michael Fry. Nick’s a misfit, forced to join the school’s most uncool club along with fellow misfits Molly and Karl. Now these oddballs have to face all their middle school woes together, including bullies, awkward romance, zany adults, and new friends. Unfortunately NOT related to the popular PBS series, which has confused more than one library patron before. Grades 4-7.
Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeff Brown. Welcome to a middle school in a galaxy far, far away…. Roan Novachez doesn’t know why he’s been sent to the Jedi Academy when he was MEANT to join Pilot Academy like his older brother, father, and grandfather did. While he works on figuring that out, he’ll have to get used to his new school and fellow students. This illustration-heavy book doesn’t need readers to be familiar with Star Wars to be enjoyed.Grades 3-7.
Stick Dog by Tom Watson. Stick Dog and the gang are hungrier than ever and will do almost anything to get their paws on hamburgers, hot dogs, and more. A good choices for readers who love funny animal stories with doodle-style illustrations. Grades 3-7.
The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett. Miles Murphy was king of the pranksters in his old hometown, but his new school already has a prankster of its own. It’s battle of the pranks in this first book in a series about middle school troublemakers. Grades 3-7.
This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavanaugh. Ratchet’s homeschooled, which means no first day of school, no new school supplies, no new friends or new teachers or new chances. Now’s the time to turn her life into something great. Grades 3-6.
Timmy Failure series by Stephan Pastis. Timmy’s a detective on the verge of world fame, if only he could get off of academic probation first. Cartoon-style illustrations with a fast-paced text make this a fun read for kids who like protagonists who aren’t afraid to make mistakes. Grades 3-7.
Wayside School series by Louis Sachar. Wayside School is 30 stories high with one class on each level, and one kooky teacher for each class of kids. Each chapter in this book is a different story, making it easy to read and enjoy for all ages. A classic book series that can still give kids the chills even as they laugh at the ridiculous storylines. Grades 3-7.
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