Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid 8: Hard Luck
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Hard Luck.jpg
First edition hardcover
AuthorJeff Kinney
IllustratorJeff Kinney
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesDiary of a Wimpy Kid
GenreChild, Young Adult
PublisherAmulet Books
Publication date

November 5, 2013 (United States)

November 6, 2013 (United Kingdom)
Media typePrint (paperback, hardcover)
Pages217
ISBN978-1-4197-1132-9
Preceded byDiary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel
Followed byDiary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul [1]
 
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Diary of a Wimpy Kid 8: Hard Luck
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Hard Luck.jpg
First edition hardcover
AuthorJeff Kinney
IllustratorJeff Kinney
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesDiary of a Wimpy Kid
GenreChild, Young Adult
PublisherAmulet Books
Publication date

November 5, 2013 (United States)

November 6, 2013 (United Kingdom)
Media typePrint (paperback, hardcover)
Pages217
ISBN978-1-4197-1132-9
Preceded byDiary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel
Followed byDiary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul [1]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck is a children's novel written by Jeff Kinney and the eighth book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.[2][3] The book's existence was announced at the end of the previous book in the series, The Third Wheel. Hard Luck was released on November 5, 2013 in the United States with a print run of 5.5 million copies and on November 6 in the United Kingdom, where it had a printing of 800,000 copies.[4][5]

Plot[edit]

Following the conclusion of The Third Wheel, Greg Heffley finds himself without his best friend Rowley Jefferson, due to his new girlfriend Abigail, and finds it extremely hard to find new friends in middle school. His mother tells him that friends come and go, but family is forever. Greg, though, believes that he and his family weren't meant to be.

Greg is upset that activities that he and Rowley like to do are now over because Abigail disapproves Rowley of doing them. Things like the Five-Second Rule and French Fry Fridays cause Abigail to move to the Couple's Table (and take Rowley with her), which is mostly empty, now that every couple that went to the Valentine's Dance together (in the previous book) have broken up. Rowley, though, believes Greg is just jealous. And now, Greg needs a friend who can write in cursive and scout for a Rottweiler named Rebel's feces. Greg tries to find a friend, but fails, so Mr. Nern, not wanting Greg to be alone, plays checkers with him. Greg also attempts to befriend Fregley so he can mould him into an ideal sidekick, but fails when Fregley becomes popular due to his quirks.

Greg needs a good friend who carries his books, but, since Rowley is carrying Abigail's books, Greg uses his father's roller bag. He has to avoid Mr. Sandoval and the Mingo Kids, though. His mother tells him that childhood friends don't always last forever, but Greg wants one friend to stay with to appreciate him when he gets older. The Slumber Party Pals books just tell him guy and girl friendships are different.

Before Rowley and Greg are enrolled in the Superhero Training Academy, they were professional skaters. Afterwards, different clubs are introduced, all of them trying to make recess the best they can. The game, Girls Chase Boys, and its opponent, Boys Chase Girls, is also shown. Hero Points are also shown, but are crossed out very early, because Erik gets a hold of them, and creates copies for kids to buy.

Susan's family meet up with them for the annual Easter visit. Greg remembers that the family had a huge fight after great grandmother Meemaw's diamond wedding ring (which was in the family for three generations and worth a fortune) went missing at her funeral, with many blaming each other for pocketing it for themselves. At one point of the visit the relatives rifle through photo albums because Aunt Audra's psychic said the ring was in one, with them first taking it literally, and then figuring that it meant there was a clue in the pictures. Uncle Larry (who is actually merely a friend) spots a picture that suggests the ring is in a plastic egg for one of the famous Easter egg hunts, causing everyone, including Greg, to search wildly for an egg. Mom gets fed up and takes them home.

During the visit of Susan's family, Greg sleeps in Rodrick's room on the ground. There he finds Rodrick's old Magic 8-Ball. That changes his life. Also, Greg joins the Yearbook Club to avoid the Mingo Kids, but he resigns after having to take the cutest couple photo, which, unfortunately, was Rowley and Abigail.

Later, Greg considers buying a science fair project (since he has no idea on what to do) from a group of bad kids, who made themselves a shop at the storage room where they sell old book reports, history projects, etc. but Greg changes his mind once he thinks about the possibility of getting caught. Also, Abigail dumps Rowley for Michael Sampson, her old boyfriend. Greg is glad he avoided the group of bad kids, because someone apparently ratted the kids out and the teachers raided the storage room. The consequences for the kids involve detention every school day for the rest of the year, and possibly an automatic trip to summer school. The next day, Rowley is on the playground with a dazed look. Greg goes over to the Find-A-Friend station to talk to him, but Mr. Nern beats him to it and plays checkers with Rowley and Greg decides they shouldn't be friends anymore, but seeing Rowley playing with Mr. Nern makes him feel guilty.

At the end of the book, Greg breaks his Magic 8 Ball and finds Meemaw's ring, which was inside an Easter Egg, but doesn't want to break up the family, so he hides it away for a while. Greg and Rowley become friends again, or at least until another fight starts up down the road, but for now, things are back to normal.

Development[edit]

Plans for an eighth entry in the series were announced in the final pages of 2012's The Third Wheel. Teaser artwork for the then-unnamed book was released in March 2013, which depicted central character Greg Heffley holding an umbrella while Magic 8-Balls fall around him.[6] On August 8, 2013 the book's cover and official title, Hard Luck, was revealed, along with the release date of November 5, 2013.[7] Kinney also announced that he would begin a book tour that same month to encourage pre-sales of the book.[8]

Kinney later stated that he found it challenging to write for one of the book's characters, Rowley's girlfriend Abigail, as she was "meant to be a placeholder for a girlfriend rather than a fully developed character" and that "It was a little tricky trying to figure out how to write for a character that hardly has any dialogue and not much of a personality. She's just a stand-in for a threat to Greg's and Rowley's friendship."[9]

Reception[edit]

Booklist gave a positive review for Hard Luck, commenting that "Kinney strikes his comic target in the bull’s-eye, exaggerating the trials of adolescence just enough to make them real while deftly exposing the insecurities behind Greg’s bravado with his super, simple drawings".[10] Publishers Weekly wrote that the book's formula was similar to Kinney's prior books and that fans of the series would likely enjoy this one as well.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.facebook.com/wimpykidbooksUK/photos/a.10150846564271228.476186.48745321227/10152410269606228/?type=1&source=44
  2. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 8 Announced". Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Reynolds, Christopher (November 9, 2013). "'Diary of a Wimpy Kid's' Jeff Kinney hits the middle school road". LA Times. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Page, Benedicte. "Penguin's record print run for latest Wimpy Kid". The Bookseller. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Jeff Kinney’s best friend is a ‘Wimpy Kid’". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Abrams Announces Wimpy Kid #8". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Minzesheimer, Bob (8 August 2013). "Narrator hits 'Hard Luck' in eighth Wimpy Kid book". USA Today. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Kellogg, Carolyn (8 August 2013). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid series: See the next book". LA Times. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  9. ^ RENAUD, JEFFREY. "JEFF KINNEY SHARES SECRET ORIGIN OF "DIARY OF A WIMPY KID"". CBR. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  10. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck (review)". Booklist. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Hard Luck (review)". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 

External links[edit]