One of the most popular books in the last few years for middle school children has been “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” by Jeff Kinney.

 I am sure it is because some parents feel this will help their awkward child deal with some of the day-to-day struggles of middle school. Or

Robert Capron, Zachary Gordon and Chloe Moretz from Diary of a Wimpy Kid, picture from

maybe it gives people a chance to truly laugh at the antics of a kid trying not to be the butt of jokes. Whatever the reasons, the sales warranted the need for a movie to be made based on the series of books.

 The movie came out last spring and now the DVD arrives this week. For those who loved this movie be aware that the second movie – Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Roderick Rules – comes out in 2011.

There are other movies in this same type of story. One of my personal favorites is Harriet The Spy starring Michelle Trachtenberg. Here we have a pre-teen girl who is on the verge of discovery.

Picture from

Harriet spies around the neighborhood to make great discoveries and write about them. However, her long time nanny leaves and suddenly her world is turned upside down.

Life gets even worse when her biggest enemy steals her diary and reads it out loud. Now she has to figure out how to regain her friendships and make life feel normal again.

This movie stands out in my mind for the bright colors, lively music and how it always talks to its audience. We are with Harriet every wonderful messy step of the way. Keep an eye out for Eartha Kitt who makes a delightful cameo appearance.

Billy gets ready to eat another worm in 'How to Eat Fried Worms,' picture from

Now if this movie seems a bit too … girly, you can try How to Eat Fried Worms. Luke Benward stars as the new kid in town who is picked on by the bully almost immediately. However, he is also befriended by the weird girl (Hallie Kate Eisenberg)) in the class. This becomes an important friendship.

Things turn for the worse when the bully dares the new boy to eat worms in any way that his gang can think of to fix them. But wait, there is more. New boy cannot throw up at all when he eats these gourmet offerings. The fly in the ointment is that new boy has a very queasy stomach and can throw up at the thought of bad stuff.

This may not be the greatest movie in the world but it is fun and seems to get that boys can be terrible to each other.

Any of these movies can make great viewing as we all get ready to go back to school and back into those social settings.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Let the world know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and leave a comment below or become my friend on Facebook.