Diper Överlöde (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 17)

stick figure playing guitar - Diper Overlode book cover

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Book Review

Greg helps his brother, Rodrick, as his group Diper Överlöde tries to hit the big time … or at least win the local battle of the bands competition. But the road to fame is a messy one.

Plot Summary

How do you get famous? And is it even worth it?

I mean famous people are constantly being dogged for their picture, their autograph, maybe a few pearls of famous-person wisdom. But just imagine how tough that would be in a public restroom or during your weekly trip to the toenail fungus clinic.

That’s what Greg Heffley muses over as he tags along (read: is free roadie labor) with his brother Rodrick’s band. It’s not that Greg even likes Rodrick’s style of music. And the band name, Diper Överlöde, just makes him gag a little each time he says it.

But … what’re you gonna do when your brother has his heart set on fame? You gotta be supportive.

For that matter, if Greg plays this right, he could potentially benefit from the perks of fame without actually being famous and worrying about having his picture taken when he’s picking his nose or something. And there’s also the possibility of writing a spicy tell-all book later on.

The quest for fame began when Rodrick started pushing his bandmates to practice to win the local battle of the bands. That’s how Rodrick’s favorite band, Metallichihuahua, found fame. Of course, that was 20 years ago. These days there are all sorts of other things to consider—like having a rabid social-media following and maybe getting a sponsorship from a diaper company or something.

And how do you go about getting publicity? Imagine if they could drop a thousand-pound loaded diaper off a building downtown.  But maybe that’s thinking too big.

Anyway, there’s a lot to consider, a lot to try and a lot of practicing and performing in the meantime. Which, of course, means a lot of equipment hauling for a certain unpaid roadie.

Greg is starting to hate fame already.

Christian Beliefs

None.

Other Belief Systems

The guys play a bar mitzvah gig. And even though their song lyrics aren’t necessarily appropriate for the occasion, it goes well.

Authority Roles

Greg and Rodrick’s parent try to show up and be as supportive as they can be. The boys’ mom even goes out of her way to support the group financially by buying a back-stage visitation package (offered at a small music festival they play) that no one else was interested in.

A club owner takes advantage of the young band members—getting them to play for free. And former members of a famous rock band tend to give less-than-helpful advice while also getting the guys to do something for nothing.

But ultimately the book gives some comical but fairly clear messages that seeking fame tends to take more than it gives.

Profanity & Violence

No foul language, but the guys discuss the fact that teens won’t buy their recorded music unless at least one track has a Parental Warning sticker slapped on it. (But the guys can’t decide what to say that their parents or grandparents would still listen to.)

There a little bit of thumping violence in the form of falling equipment and other tumbles. The guys talk about a drummer who burned his hands. And a mechanical hand from a robot latches painfully on someone’s leg.

The biggest content mention here is the book’s potty-humor giggles. (I mean, what would you expect from a book and a band called Diper Överlöde?) But for all of the smells and splashes, nothing gets truly gross. Greg imagines his older self as a smoking garbageman at one point.

Sexual Content

Nothing other than a couple instances where line-drawn male rockers have their shirts off.

Discussion Topics

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be famous on social media or in the movies? Did this story help you think about the negatives and the plusses of that pursuit? For that matter, is focusing on fame important or even beneficial?

What do you think God wants you to focus on? Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:13-16; 1 Corinthians 8:3 and Romans 5:8 all speak to that subject.

But 1 Peter 5:6 also says: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” What do you think that means?

Get free discussion question for books at focusonthefamily.com/magazine/thriving-family-book-discussion-questions.

Additional Comments

This latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book is lightweight and silly, as you might expect. But it also suggests that fame—something we seem obsessed with—isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not necessarily their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Review by Bob Hoose