It's been a long time comin', but the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books by University of Maryland alum Jeff Kinney are finally being released as ebooks.
The first six books in the wildy popular series about meek middle schooler Greg Heffley will be available to download Oct. 30. The latest, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel," will be released as an ebook and hardcover on Nov. 13. All of the ebooks will be branded as Wimp-E-Books.
It's suprising that it took so long, because Kinney -- a 1993 grad of UMd's Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice -- is no stodgy, digital novice. He helped create Poptropica, a website geared toward kids, and has released some of the Wimpy Kids stories on funbrain. And the digital format seems perfect for the cartoon illustrations of Heffley and other characters.
Kinney was involved in all aspects of the print-to-digital transformation, according to Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS. “It was important to me to make sure the books look just as good on the screen as they do on paper. I’m thrilled at the way the books look on e-readers, tablets, and other devices, and I hope fans enjoy having them in digital format as much as they've enjoyed them as books,” Kinney said in a statement.
Here's how the publisher describes "The Third Wheel": Love is in the air—but what does that mean for Greg Heffley? A Valentine’s Day dance at Greg’s middle school has turned his world upside down. As Greg scrambles to find a date, he’s worried he’ll be left out in the cold on the big night. His best friend, Rowley, doesn’t have any prospects either, but that’s a small consolation. An unexpected twist gives Greg a partner for the dance and leaves Rowley the odd man out. But a lot can happen in one night, and in the end, you never know who’s going to be lucky in love.
More than 75 million "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books are in print in 41 languages in more than 44 countries around the world, according to the publisher.