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Jeff Kinney

wimpykid

Learn more about the origin of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the movie, book series and original cartoon from creator Jeff Kinney.

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What inspired you to write Diary of a Wimpy Kid?

Jeff: "I wanted to kind of create the ultimate childhood. When I was a kid, if I was ever in the audience at school, or at church, and some authority figure took the stage, and said, 'Here's a story from my childhood,' or 'When I was a kid,' it always got my attention.

And it made me perk up and listen because I think when you hear childhood stories, they give you a glimpse into people's humanity, in a way. I think what I wanted to do was also create a fictional world that was all funny -- no serious parts and all funny parts."

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What was the most scary aspect of middle school for you?

Jeff: "Middle school in general is pretty scary scary for kids. You feel coddled and protected all through elementary school, then you enter this realm --this strange, new, more dangerous realm -- where you have lockers and different periods of classes, so it's sort of a shock to the system when kids really need to feel more protected because they are changing so much physically."

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If you could go back in time with one piece of wisdom you have now, when you were in middle school, what would it be?

Jeff: "I'd say to myself, 'This won't last long and life will get a lot better.'"

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How do you think keeping a diary or journal helps pre-teens and teens order their lives and find some sense of meaning?

Jeff: "I think even as an adult, when I was going through difficult times I would keep a journal, and I felt like it was cathartic. If you put it down on paper, then you are sort of done with those feelings, so you can move past them. I think for anyone going through a hard time in their life, a journal can come in handy.

I also like the idea of a journal as a record, as a glimpse into your past. I didn't keep a journal as a kid, but I did as an adult, but if I had had a journal I would have remembered things that happened to me as a kid and I would have really valued that today.

Even if you just wrote down what you had for dinner that night, I think it would be like an artifact of your life, which would be really cool."

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