So you read Dav Pilkey’s popular book (or the whole series) and loved it — now you’re on the hunt for books like Dog Man? Welcome!
Recommending readalikes can be a tricky process, but I enjoy the process of finding similar threads running through even books that appear different on the surface. Today’s pick is Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid, a much-loved funny graphic novel series about a middle schooler who illustrates his life in a notebook-style diary. The first book in the series has also been adapted into a movie!
For this list, I’ve gathered 20 relatable diary/notebook-style middle school books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid. If you enjoy true-to-life graphic novels, then you’ll enjoy these books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
20 Books for Kids Who Love Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Here are 20 books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid:
Published: September 27, 2016
Meet Abbie Wu. Abbie is in crisis—and not just because she’s starting middle school or because she’s stuck in a family that doesn’t quite get her or because everyone seems to have a Thing except her. Abbie Wu is always in crisis.
From author and professional doodler Booki Vivat, Frazzled dives right into the mind of this hilariously neurotic middle school girl as she tries to figure out who she is and where she belongs. Akin to Smile by Raina Telgemeier, Frazzled is heavily illustrated, embarrassingly honest, and sure to appeal to anyone in the middle of figuring out how to survive the everyday disasters of growing up.
Published: June 22, 2021
Hudi needs to lose weight, according to his doctors. Concerned about the serious medical issue Hudi had when he was younger, his parents push him to try out for sports. Hudi would rather do anything else, but then he meets Chunky, his imaginary friend and mascot. Together, they decide to give baseball a shot.
As the only Mexican and Jewish kid in his neighborhood, Hudi has found the cheerleader he never had. Baseball doesn’t go well (unless getting hit by the ball counts), but the two friends have a great time drawing and making jokes. While Hudi’s parents keep trying to find the right sport for Hudi, Chunky encourages him to pursue his true love—comedy.
But when Hudi’s dad loses his job, it gets harder for Hudi to chart his own course, even with Chunky’s guidance. Can Chunky help Hudi stay true to himself or will this friendship strike out?
13 Storey Treehouse
Published: April 16, 2013
Andy and Terry live in a treehouse. But it’s not just any old treehouse, it’s the most amazing treehouse in the world!
This treehouse has thirteen stories, a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a secret underground laboratory, and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you are hungry.
Life would be perfect for Andy and Terry if it wasn’t for the fact that they have to write their next book, which is almost impossible because there are just so many distractions, including thirteen flying cats, giant bananas, mermaids, a sea monsters pretending to be mermaids, enormous gorillas, and dangerous burp gas-bubblegum bubbles!
Max and the Midknights
Published: January 8, 2019
Max wants to be a knight! Too bad that dream is about as likely as finding a friendly dragon. But when Max’s uncle Budrick is kidnapped by the cruel King Gastley, Max has to act…and fast! Joined by a band of brave adventurers–the Midknights–Max sets out on a thrilling quest: to save Uncle Budrick and restore the realm of Byjovia to its former high spirits!
Magic and (mis)adventures abound in this hilarious illustrated novel from the New York Times bestselling creator of the Big Nate series, Lincoln Peirce.
Published: July 27, 2021
The adventurous antics of sixth grader Nate Wright are on full display in this special collection, which includes all the comics from classic titles Big Nate and Friends and Big Nate Makes the Grade. Joining Nate in the fun at P.S. 38 are his best pals, Francis and Teddy. Whether he’s setting the school record for detentions, earning an A for annoying teacher’s pet Gina, or inventing new ways to trash talk during a chess tournament, Nate’s talent for making mischief is second to none.
Published: September 12, 2017
Ken is an EngiNerd: one of a super-smart group of friends—all nerds—who have been close since kindergarten.
They may be brainiacs, but they’re just like everyone else: they fight with one another, watch too much TV, eat Chinese food, and hate walking their dogs. Well, maybe not just like everyone because Ken’s best friend Dan has beenbuilding robots. He then secretly sent one to each of the EngiNerds, never letting them know he’s the mastermind.
At first Ken is awed and delighted: what kid hasn’t dreamed of having a robot all their own? Someone who can be their friend, clean their room, walk the dog, answer homework questions…how amazing is that?
But be careful what you wish for: Dan’s robot, Greeeg, may look innocent, but his ravenous consumption of food—comestibles—turns him into a butt-blasting bot. And once the other robots ‘come alive’ it’s up to the motley crew of EngiNerds to not only save the day, but save the planet!
Published: January 8, 2013
He’ll make you laugh…he’ll make you cry…but above all, he’ll make you hungry!
Follow Stick Dog as he goes on an epic quest for the perfect burger. With hilarious text and stick-figure drawings, reluctant readers eat this one up!
Perfect for fans of such series as The Last Kids on Earth, Dog Man, Big Nate, Timmy Failure, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, this is the first book in the bestselling Stick Dog series. A favorite of readers ages 6 to 12, both avid and less so, Stick Dog is a winner for those looking for their next funny illustrated middle grade book series.
Other favorites in the series include Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog, Stick Dog Chases a Pizza, and many more!
Published: July 8, 2008
Alvin, an Asian American second grader, is afraid of everything—elevators, tunnels, girls, and, most of all, school. He’s so afraid of school that, while he’ s there, he never, ever, says a word. But at home he’s a very loud superhero named Firecracker Man, a brother to Calvin and Anibelly, and a gentleman-in-training, so he can be just like his dad.
Stuntboy in the Meantime
Published: November 30, 2021
Portico Reeves’s superpower is making sure all the other superheroes—like his parents and two best friends—stay super. And safe. Super safe. And he does this all in secret. No one in his civilian life knows he’s actually…Stuntboy!
But his regular Portico identity is pretty cool, too. He lives in the biggest house on the block, maybe in the whole city, which basically makes it a castle. His mom calls where they live an apartment building. But a building with fifty doors just in the hallways is definitely a castle. And behind those fifty doors live a bunch of different people who Stuntboy saves all the time. In fact, he’s the only reason the cat, New Name Every Day, has nine lives.
All this is swell except for Portico’s other secret, his not-so-super secret. His parents are fighting all the time. They’re trying to hide it by repeatedly telling Portico to go check on a neighbor “in the meantime.” But Portico knows “meantime” means his parents are heading into the Mean Time which means they’re about to get into it, and well, Portico’s superhero responsibility is to save them, too—as soon as he figures out how.
The Terrible Two
Published: January 13, 2015
Miles Murphy is known for one thing and one thing only: pranking.
He’s the best prankster his school has ever seen. So when he’s forced to move to boring Yawnee Valley (also known for one thing and one thing only: cows), he assumes he’ll be the best prankster at his new school too. There’s one problem. The school already has a prankster—and he’s good. Really good.
The Loser List: Revenge of the Loser
Published: April 1, 2011
When Danny gets caught trying to cross his name off the “Geek” list in the girls’ bathroom, he’s sent to detention. Bullies torment him mercilessly — until they discover that Danny can draw. He enjoys his new “bad boy” status, supplying tattoos and graffiti, until he’s unknowingly drawn into a theft. Turns out the bullies took a comic book from Danny’s favorite store. Can he steal it back before they get caught — and break off with the bullies before he gets in too deep?
Published: June 2, 2009
Nikki confesses all in her first diary ever: her epic battle with her mom for an iPhone, meeting her new soon-to-be BFFs Chloe and Zoey, falling for adorably sweet crush Brandon, dealing with her zany little sister Brianna’s antics—and the immediate clashes with mean girl MacKenzie, who becomes Nikki’s rival in a school-wide art competition.
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
Published: February 26, 2013
He may be clueless, but the comically self-confident Timmy Failure is CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Additional material includes step-by-step instructions on how to draw Timmy and his impressively lazy business partner, the polar bear Total—including a trick to making them both look a tiny bit nuts (hint: the secret is in the eyes).
My Life as a Book (The My Life series 1)
Published: July 6, 2010
Summer’s finally here, and Derek Fallon is looking forward to pelting the UPS truck with water balloons, climbing onto the garage roof, and conducting silly investigations. But when his parents decide to send him to Learning Camp, Derek’s dreams of fun come to an end. Ever since he’s been labeled a “reluctant reader,” his mom has pushed him to read “real” books-something other than his beloved Calvin & Hobbes.
Published: February 4, 2020
Welcome to the imaginative brain of Omar!
Omar and his family have just moved, and he is NOT excited about starting at a new school. What if the work is too hard or the kids are mean or the teacher is a zombie alien?!
But when Omar makes a new best friend, things start looking up. That is, until a Big Mean Bully named Daniel makes every day a nightmare! Daniel even tells Omar that all Muslims are going to be kicked out of the country . . . Could that possibly be true?
Luckily, Omar’s enormous imagination and goofy family help him get through life’s ups and downs.
Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading (Charlie Joe Jackson Series, 1)
Published: July 5, 2011
Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he’s managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he’s in middle school, avoiding reading isn’t as easy as it used to be. And when his friend Timmy McGibney decides that he’s tired of covering for him, Charlie Joe finds himself resorting to desperate measures to keep his perfect record intact.
The Brilliant World of Tom Gates
Published: September 1, 2016
Meet Tom Gates. When his teachers don’t have their beady eyes on him, he likes to draw pictures and write about stuff. Tom’s teachers think he is easily distracted and “lacks focus,” but that’s a bit harsh—can he help it if his grumpy big sister, Delia, made him late for school (again), or that last night’s homework had to be sacrificed to stave off a vicious dog attack? Master of excuses, creative storyteller, and middle-school comedian extraordinaire, Tom Gates is guaranteed to get kids turning the pages—and keep them laughing.
Gossip From the Girls’ Room: A Blogtastic! Novel
Published: January 11, 2011
Gossip from the Girls’ Room fills readers in on all there is to learn about middle school life at Middlebrooke, where Sofia has her very own blog and discusses all the juicy gossip that comes out of the Girls’ room.
In Sofia’s words . . .
Mia St. Claire is only the most popular girl in all of Middlebrooke Middle School. For three very obvious reasons:
1. She’s very rich.
2. She has tons of money.
3. She can buy anything and everything she wants. And she does.
I’m sure people like her for other reasons too, but none of those reasons are obvious enough for me to really know. Or care about, for that matter.
Ben Yokoyama and the Cookie of Doom (Cookie Chronicles)
Published: March 2, 2021
Live each day as if it were your last.
When Ben reads his fortune-cookie fortune, he’s alarmed and inspired. Immediately, he begins drafting a bucket list of unfinished tasks and lifelong dreams (finish his 1000-piece model of the Taj Mahal, eat an entire cake, etc….). As Ben marches himself in and out of trouble, takes useful risks, and helps both his parents to see the bigger picture, readers discover how something that seems scary can instead be empowering–leading to friendships that might never have been made, neighbors that might never have been known, and apple pies that might otherwise never have been baked.
Published: February 1, 2006
When Amelia’s mom gives her a journal for her birthday, she finally has a place to share her truest feelings at last!
Nine-year-old Amelia’s mother gives her a blank notebook to write down her thoughts and tells her it will make her feel better. Why would a dumb notebook make me feel better, Amelia thinks. The only thing that will make Amelia feel better is going back to old house, her old school, and her old friends. Amelia does not—do you hear this!—want to move. But no one is listening to Amelia.
Want more books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid? Check out the replies to this tweet!
Which books would you/do you recommend for kids who love the WIMPY KID and DORK DIARIES type books?— Afoma (Reading Middle Grade) (@readingMG) March 7, 2022
- Books for kids who like Dog Man
- Great readalikes for fans of Little Women
- Books for kids who like The Babysitters’ Club