Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck

Last updated Friday, September 11, 2015

Author: Jeff Kinney
Date of Publication: 2013
ISBN: 1419711326
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Sep. 2015

Synopsis: Greg Heffley's on a losing streak. His best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him, and finding new friends in middle school is proving to be a tough task. To change his fortunes, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance. Will a roll of the dice turn things around, or is Greg's life destined to be just another hard-luck story? (Amazon)

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you think "hard luck" means? (experiencing or having bad luck)
•  What do you think the characters hard luck is?
•  Do you keep a diary of your life? events? good or bad luck?


•  dicey - difficult or dangerous; risky; tricky
•  credit - An arrangement for deferred payment of a loan or purchase.
•  guarantee - A promise or assurance, especially one given in writing, that attests to the quality or durability of a product or service.
•  transcribes - To make a full written or typewritten copy of (dictated material, for example).
•  detour - 1. A roundabout way or course, especially a road used temporarily instead of a main route. 2. A deviation from a direct course of action.
•  sophisticated - 1. Having or showing much worldly knowledge or cultural refinement. 2. Very complex or complicated: the latest and most sophisticated technology.
•  sketchy - 1. Resembling a sketch; drawn with little detail: a sketchy map. 2. Missing important points or lacking in detail; not thorough: sketchy evidence; sketchy memories. 3. Of questionable authenticity or trustworthiness. Of dubious safety; potentially harmful or dangerous.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What has changed between Greg and his best friend?
•  What dangers on the way to school does Greg have to face alone?
•  What's changed during lunchtime?
•  What does Greg do at recess now?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a diary about the first week of school and illustrate. Refer to diagram & instructions on making a little booklet from http://pocketmod.com/
•  Make a book cover for your prize book! You will need a paper bag cut open with the rectangular bottom cut off, or a long piece of paper or newspaper. Place your book in the middle of your paper and with the book open, mark the paper along the top and bottom so that it matches the height of the book. Push the book aside for a moment, and fold the paper along those two marks. Now put the open book back on the paper and mark the left edge and the right edge. Fold along the marks on the left and right. You have just created a pocket on either side that the covers of the book will fit into. Tuck the front cover into the pocket created by the left-hand fold. Fiddle with the book’s back cover until it too fits into the pocket on the right side. Decorate your book cover!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!