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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Back Cover Reveal

I want to show you something that hangs on the wall of my stairwell.

Here it is:

WimpyKid

That would be a pencil drawing of my favorite joke in the very first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book. Now take a trip back with me in time to 2007. My blog was still at Blogger, not SLJ yet, and in the course of my transactions I stumbled across this new book by an author named Jeff Kinney. I read it and found it really and truly hilarious. Honest, you should read my original review, which contains the opening line, “The world has not yet invented a method of finding the best webcomics currently available on the Internet for kids.” By the way, if this has changed in the intervening years, you just let me know.

After I wrote that review Mr. Kinney was kind enough to send me, an obscure little blogging librarian, this drawing, proving that (A) He is a truly nice fellow and (B) He really did draw that perfect little circle that is Greg’s head without the aid of a computer.

DiaryAwesomeFriendlyKidFast forward twelve years and I get a query the other day from Abrams. Would I have any interest in revealing the back cover of the new upcoming Wimpy Kid spin-off Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson’s Journal (out April 9th)? Huh. Well, I guess I’m no fly-by-night Wimpy Kid fan. But the trick was, Abrams wasn’t offering me to do the reveal on the blog necessarily. They wanted to do it for kids! Kids! Did I have any lying about the place?

Now as it just so happens we have a new children’s bookstore here in Evanston, Illinois. It goes by the name of Booked and lo and behold they have a middle grade bookclub that meets every Tuesday. What better place to display a back cover reveal? Because it wasn’t just going to be a back cover. Oh no, my friend. It was going to be a scroll. And, as everyone knows, things are always much better when revealed in scroll form.

To do this right I headed over and the stage was literally set. I’m talking curtain, balloon flowers, the works. The kids were sitting about with their copies of Varian Johnson’s The Parker Inheritance, ready for their discussion. They’d been warned that something was brewing, though. You can’t plant a great big stage in front of someone without them wondering what’s up. And, of course, there was a the scroll. Like so:

DiaryAwesome3

And here was the stage:

DiaryAwesome2

 

Local entertainer Lori Wheeles was on hand to pull down the scroll. And it was addressed to . . . well . . . it was addressed to me, actually. It was a letter from Rowley to me! That’s kind of neat. So I got down on one knee and proceeded to do my best Rowley voice.

Now I have never listened to a Diary of a Wimpy Kid audio book. I saw the first of the movies (which is very fun if you imagine that the character played by Chloe Moretz is just a figment of Greg’s imagination) but I don’t remember how the actor voiced Rowley. Happily, I’m always up for a challenge. I imagine he’s somewhere between the kid from Up and the abominable snowman in those old Bugs Bunny cartoons.

AwesomeFriendly1

 

 

 

AwesomeFriendly6

AwesomeFriendly5

Curious? Here’s what it said:

DWK DOAFK Scroll_final_ol copy

 

And here is the back cover of the new book itself:

 

DWK DOAFK BackCover copy

Now Rowley’s favorite food is jelly beans. And Abrams had sent us a bunch. This meant that I got to do my favorite thing of all time: Fling candy at children. I’m serious. I love doing that. The trick is to make it go high and behind them, then throw some in front so it’s fair. You get all the kids that way. Sadly we only have a shot of me mere moments before the flinging. Don’t you worry. I fling but good.

AwesomeFriendly3

Thanks to Chelsea and Mary at booked, the members of the bookclub, and the folks at Abrams for this fun day of back cover reveals and candy carnage. It’s crazy to think back to how far this Wimpy Kid train has gone on. Let’s see where it’s going from here.

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About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.