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'Diary of a Wimpy Kid's' Jeff Kinney hits the middle school road
'Diary of a Wimpy Kid's' Jeff Kinney hits the middle school road

The first time through middle school was bad for Jeff Kinney. But the second time? Golden. Kinney is the writer and cartoonist behind the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books, a series that revels in the thugs and cliques, the clueless parents, the awkward bodies, treacherous siblings and excruciating moments of grades 6 through 8. The seven "novels in cartoons" he published between 2007 and 2012 have sold more than 115 million copies worldwide — many of them, teachers and parents say, to boys previously allergic to reading. There have been three movies. Now comes Book 8, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck." On Tuesday, its release date, Kinney was crisscrossing...

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