Title: Cabin Fever
Author: Jeff Kinney
Series: Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5
ISBN: 9781419702235
Pages: 217 pages
Publisher/Date: Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS, c2011.
Release Date: November 15, 2011

“Even though Dennis is the only real bully in our school this year, we had a BUNCH of them LAST year. People were constantly getting picked on at recess, so the teachers set up a station on the playground where kids could press a button if they needed to get a grown-up’s attention.
Well, the Tell-a-Teacher station just ended up being a convenient place for the bullies to hang out and find their next victims.
The teachers say TEASING counts as bullying, too, but I don’t think there’s any way they’re gonna put a stop to THAT. Kids are always calling each other names and that kind of thing at my school. In fact, one of the reasons I try to stay under the radar is because I don’t want to end up getting stuck with a nickname like Cody Johnson did.
In kindergarten Cody stepped in some dog poop at recess, and ever since then people have called him “Dookie.”
An I’m not just talking about the kids, either. I’m talking about the teachers and even the PRINCIPAL.
I’ll tell you this: If I ever get a nickname like Dookie, I’ll move to a different town. (13-15)

Greg is back debating the existence of Santa Clause and the easiest way to do a book report in the newest installment of the Wimpy Kid series. Whether it’s trying to earn money by shoveling the neighbor’s snow or trying to get his Christmas presents early, Greg is behaving just like a kid. But when an innocent get blown out of proportion, is the biggest blizzard of the year the only thing saving him from the cops?

I’d found a few other books in the series lacking and veering away from the more naive and “wholesome” aspects of childhood. In this one, Kinney returns to his roots. Probably one of my favorites of the series, bumbling Greg runs into one problem after another and is shocked at the outcomes, which really should come as no surprise to anyone else. It’s hard to summarize these books because some of the stories are so short (only a couple of pages long in most cases). The ongoing, arching plot of the tale is that Greg is trying to make money through various means, but one idea gets him in trouble at school and a freak snow storm saves him from confronting the cops, at least until the roads and power are restored.

Kinney addresses many kid-friendly issues regarding the holidays, such as having money, waiting to unwrap gifts, the existence of Santa, and how awful it would be to have your birthday on Christmas. Readers will definitely relate to the slacker Greg. And if you’re like us right now where we’re just waiting for snow, it will put you in the winter/holiday mood.

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