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Diaries: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about diaries?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to diaries. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about diaries.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about diaries, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Cleopatra VII, Daughter of the Nile to popular sellers like Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

We hope this list of kids books about diaries can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Diary of a Worm
Written by Doreen Cronin & illustrated by Harry Bliss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

One small worm . one big world! This is the diary . of a worm. This worm lives with his parents, plays with his friends, and even goes to school. But unlike you or me, he never has to take a bath, he gets to eat his homework, and because he doesn’t have legs, he just can’t do the hokey pokey – no matter how hard he tries. This hysterical picture book by New York Times bestselling author Doreen Cronin and New York Times bestselling illustrator Harry Bliss tells the daily doings of a small worm in a gigantic worm world. Ages 4–8

Harriet's Monster Diary
Written by S.E. Abramson and Raun Melmed & illustrated by Arief
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

Meet Harriet, a lovable monster who is just sick at the thought of giving a report in front of her class! Her heart pounds, her chest gets tight, and her stomach twists in painful knots. She can’t even bear to get started on it! What is she going to do?

In the same humorous spirit of Diary of a Wimpy Kid comes Harriet’s Monster Diary: Awful Anxiety (But I Squish It, Big Time). Using the “furmometer” and ST4 techniques developed by Dr. Raun Melmed of the Melmed Center in Arizona, Harriet’s Monster Diary teaches kids how to monitor how they feel and respond to stressful situations. Harriet’s hilarious doodles and diary entries chronicle her delightful adventures, misadventures, and eventual triumph in a funny, relatable way. It’s the one book that stressed kids will want to calm down to read!

Harriet’s Monster Diary also includes a resource section to help parents and teachers implement Dr. Melmed’s methods, plus ST4 reminders that kids can remove, color, and place around the house.

Tom Gates Is Absolutely Fantastic (at Some Things)
Written & illustrated by L. Pichon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Since Tom forgets everything, it’s not surprising that he forgot all about the trip he’s supposed to go on with class 5F. It’s good that his family helps keep him on track (even, once in a while, his grumpy sister, Delia)! Luckily, there are loads of excellent things to do on the trip, like making rafts, eating snacks, and seeing some very weird creatures. That is, as long as Tom doesn’t get stuck in a group with anyone who snores or worse (looking at you, Marcus Meldrew!).

Marvin's Monster Diary
Written by Annette Sexton and Raun Melmed & illustrated by Jeff Harvey
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

Meet Marvin, a lovable monster with a twelve-stringed baby fang guitar, a rambunctious case of ADHD, and a diary to record it all. His teachers scold him, his parents don’t know what to do with him, and his sister is convinced he was raised by triple-tailed monkeys. In short, Marvin’s life is feeling out of controle until a secret formula changes everything. In the same humorous spirit of Diary of a Wimpy Kid comes Marvin’s Monster Diary: ADHD Attacks! (And I Win, Big Time). Using the “monstercam” and “ST4” techniques developed by Dr. Raun Melmed of the Melmed Center in Arizona, Marvin’s Monster Diary teaches kids how to be mindful, observe their surroundings, and take time to think about their actions. Marvin’s hilarious doodles and diary entries chronicle his delightful adventures, misadventures, and eventual triumph in a funny, relatable way. It’s the one book on ADHD that kids will actually want to read! Marvin’s Monster Diary also includes a resource section to help parents and teachers implement Dr. Melmed’s methods, plus ST4 reminders that kids can remove, color, and place around the house.

The Meltdown
Written & illustrated by Jeff Kinney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When snow shuts down Greg Heffley’s middle school, his neighborhood transforms into a wintry battlefield. Rival groups fight over territory, build massive snow forts, and stage epic snowball fights. And in the crosshairs are Greg and his trusty best friend, Rowley Jefferson.

It’s a fight for survival as Greg and Rowley navigate alliances, betrayals, and warring gangs in a neighborhood meltdown. When the snow clears, will Greg and Rowley emerge as heroes? Or will they even survive to see another day?

  • Diary of a Fly - A young fly discovers, day by day, that there is a lot to learn about being an insect, including the dangers of flypaper and that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

  • The Getaway - Greg Heffley and his family are getting out of town. With the cold weather and the stress of the approaching holiday season, the Heffleys decide to escape to a tropical island resort for some much-needed rest and relaxation. A few days in paradise should do wonders for Greg and his frazzled family. But the Heffleys soon discover that paradise isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. Sun poisoning, stomach troubles, and venomous critters all threaten to ruin the family’s vacation. Can their trip be saved, or will this island getaway end in disaster?

  • Tom Gates: Extra Special Treats (Not) - Between snowstorms, visiting relatives, and chocolate raisins, everything’s piling up around Tom Gates in his sixth doodle-packed diary. Tom’s hoping to be made a Star Pupil at school, but that means he needs to put more effort into his homework than his doodles. Easier said than done! Meanwhile, his grandparents (the Fossils) are about to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary, and Uncle Kevin wants to plan something special. Then the cold weather turns to snow and school gets canceled, leaving Tom is snowed in at home with quite the crew, including his especially grumpy sister, Delia; his cousins, and his annoying classmate, Marcus Meldrew. Aren’t snow days supposed to be fun?

  • The Long Haul - A family road trip is supposed to be a lot of fun . . . unless, of course, you’re the Heffleys. The journey starts off full of promise, then quickly takes several wrong turns. Gas station bathrooms, crazed seagulls, a fender bender, and a runaway pig—not exactly Greg Heffley’s idea of a good time. But even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure—and this is one the Heffleys won’t soon forget.

Old School
Written & illustrated by Jeff Kinney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Life was better in the old days. Or was it?

That’s the question Greg Heffley is asking as his town voluntarily unplugs and goes electronics-free. But modern life has its conveniences, and Greg isn’t cut out for an old-fashioned world.

With tension building inside and outside the Heffley home, will Greg find a way to survive? Or is going “old school” just too hard for a kid like Greg?

Double Down
Written & illustrated by Jeff Kinney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The pressure’s really piling up on Greg Heffley. His mom thinks video games are turning his brain to mush, so she wants her son to put down the controller and explore his “creative side.”

As if that’s not scary enough, Halloween’s just around the corner and the frights are coming at Greg from every angle.

When Greg discovers a bag of gummy worms, it sparks an idea. Can he get his mom off his back by making a movie . . . and will he become rich and famous in the process? Or will doubling down on this plan just double Greg’s troubles?

Hard Luck
Written & illustrated by Jeff Kinney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Greg Heffley’s on a losing streak. His best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him, and finding new friends in middle school is proving to be a tough task. To change his fortunes, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance. Will a roll of the dice turn things around, or is Greg’s life destined to be just another hard-luck story?

Writing Radar
Written by Jack Gantos
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

The Newbery Award–winning author of Dead End in Norvelt shares advice for how to be the best brilliant writer in this funny and practical creative writing guide perfect for all kids who dream of seeing their name on the spine of a book. With the signature wit and humor that have garnered him legions of fans, Jack Gantos instructs young writers on using their “writing radar” to unearth story ideas from their everyday lives. Incorporating his own misadventures as a developing writer, Gantos inspires readers to build confidence and establish good writing habits as they create, revise, and perfect their stories. Pop-out text boxes highlight key tips, alongside Gantos’s own illustrations, sample stories, and snippets from his childhood journals. More than just a how-to guide, Writing Radar is a celebration of the power of storytelling and an ode to the characters who—many unwittingly—inspired Gantos’s own writing career.

Diary of a Spider
Written by Doreen Cronin & illustrated by Harry Bliss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This is the diary . . . of a spider. Actually, he’s a lot like you. He goes to gym class and has Grandparents Day at school. But he also spins sticky webs, scales walls, and takes wind-catching lessons. Lucky for him, his best friend is a fly! Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss, the team behind the #1 New York Times bestselling Diary of a Worm and Diary of a Fly, spin a hilarious tale about the upside-down web world of an eight-legged charmer and his unlikely friend, Fly.

  • Cabin Fever - Greg Heffley is in big trouble. School property has been damaged, and Greg is the prime suspect. But the crazy thing is, he’s innocent. Or at least sort of. The authorities are closing in, but when a surprise blizzard hits, the Heffley family is trapped indoors. Greg knows that when the snow melts he’s going to have to face the music, but could any punishment be worse than being stuck inside with your family for the holidays?

  • The Third Wheel - Greg Heffley is not willing to be the odd man out. A dance at Greg’s middle school has everyone scrambling to find a partner, and Greg is determined not to be left by the wayside. So he concocts a desperate plan to find someone—anyone!—to go with on the big night. But Greg’s schemes go hilariously awry, and his only option is to attend the dance with his best friend, Rowley Jefferson, and a female classmate as a “group of friends.” But the night is long, and anything can happen along the way. Who will arrive at the dance triumphantly, and who will end up being the third wheel?

  • The Night Diary - Shy twelve-year-old Nisha, forced to flee her home with her Hindu family during the 1947 partition of India, tries to find her voice and make sense of the world falling apart around her by writing to her deceased Muslim mother in the pages of her diary.

  • House Arrest - Timothy is on probation. It’s a strange word—something that happens to other kids, to delinquents, not to kids like him. And yet, he is under house arrest for the next year. He must check in weekly with a probation officer and a therapist, and keep a journal for an entire year. And mostly, he has to stay out of trouble. But when he must take drastic measures to help his struggling family, staying out of trouble proves more difficult than Timothy ever thought it would be. By turns touching and funny, and always original, House Arrest is a middlegrade novel in verse about one boy’s path to redemption as he navigates life with a sick brother, a grieving mother, and one tough probation officer.

The Ugly Truth
Written & illustrated by Jeff Kinney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Greg Heffley has always been in a hurry to grow up. But is getting older really all it’s cracked up to be?

Greg suddenly finds himself dealing with the pressures of boy-girl parties, increased responsibilities, and even the awkward changes that come with getting older—all without his best friend, Rowley, at his side. Can Greg make it through on his own? Or will he have to face the “ugly truth”?

Junie B., First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha!
Written by Barbara Park & illustrated by Denise Brunkus
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Meet the World’s Funniest First Grader—Junie B. Jones! Junie B. and her family are going on a vacation to Hawaii! And ha! Mr. Scary is giving Junie a real, actual camera to keep a photo journal of her trip! But taking good vacation pictures is not always easy. ’Cause what if there is an unfortunate inner tube incident at the swimming pool? (And, oh my! Let’s not even mention what happens if a tropical bird gets tangled in your hair!) Will Junie B.’s vacation end up picture-perfect? Or will her trip to Hawaii be aloha-horrible?

The Last Straw
Written & illustrated by Jeff Kinney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Let’s face it: Greg Heffley will never change his wimpy ways. Somebody just needs to explain that to Greg’s father. You see, Frank Heffley actually thinks he can get his son to toughen up, and he enlists Greg in organized sports and other “manly” endeavors. Of course, Greg is able to easily sidestep his father’s efforts to change him. But when Greg’s dad threatens to send him to military academy, Greg realizes he has to shape up . . . or get shipped out.

Greg and his family and friends, who make the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books a must-read for middle school readers, are back and at their best in this hilarious new installment of the series, which is sure to please current fans while attracting new ones.

This highly anticipated third book in the critically acclaimed and bestselling series takes the art of being wimpy to a whole new level.

Rodrick Rules
Written & illustrated by Jeff Kinney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Whatever you do, don’t ask Greg Heffley how he spent his summer vacation, because he definitely doesn’t want to talk about it.

As Greg enters the new school year, he’s eager to put the past three months behind him . . . and one event in particular. Unfortunately for Greg, his older brother, Rodrick, knows all about the incident Greg wants to keep under wraps. But secrets have a way of getting out . . . especially when a diary is involved.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules chronicles Greg’s attempts to navigate the hazards of middle school, impress the girls, steer clear of the school talent show, and most important, keep his secret safe. The highly anticipated sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling book!

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Written by Sherman Alexie & illustrated by Ellen Forney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-99

The 10th anniversary edition of Sherman Alexie’s National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling novel—bonus content included! Sherman Alexie, in his first book for young adults, tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the reservation to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, beautifully written, semi-autobiographical, and coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character’s art, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian will continue to make a lasting impression for many years to come. Bonus content to include an introduction from National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Woodson, a new author’s note, an excerpt of a sequel from the character Rowdy’s point of view, and more!

  • On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894 - A detailed diary from the author of the beloved Little House series, chronicling her journey with her family from South Dakota to Missouri. In 1894, Laura Ingalls Wilder, her husband, Almanzo, and their daughter, Rose, packed their belongings into their covered wagon and set out on a journey from De Smet, South Dakota, to Mansfield, Missouri. They heard that the soil there was rich and the crops were bountiful—it was even called “the Land of the Big Red Apple.” With hopes of beginning a new life, the Wilders made their way to the Ozarks of Missouri. During their journey, Laura kept a detailed diary of events: the cities they passed through, the travelers they encountered on the way, the changing countryside and the trials of an often difficult voyage. Laura’s words, preserved in this book, are a fascinating account of life and travel at the turn of the twentieth century, and reveal Laura’s inner thoughts as she traveled with her family in search of a new home in Mansfield, where Laura would write her Little House books.

  • Royal Wedding Disaster: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess - You are invited to a Genovian Royal Wedding in this second book pulled From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess, a Princess Diaries spin-off series, written and illustrated by New York Times-bestselling author Meg Cabot. Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison still finds it hard to believe that she’s a real live PRINCESS OF GENOVIA. Not only does she get to live in an actual palace with her newly discovered family and two fabulous poodles (who all love her and think that she’s anything but ordinary!), but she also gets her very own PONY! Of course, things aren’t going exactly like she imagined. Her half-sister Mia is very busy learning how to take over the country while trying to plan a wedding and her father is actually getting remarried himself—to Mia’s mother!—and spends most of his time “renovating” the summer palace, although Grandmere says he is just hiding from the wedding preparations. Olivia hardly gets to see either of them. Fortunately, Grandmere has her own plans for Mia’s wedding, and needs Olivia’s help to pull them off. Just when Olivia starts to think that things are going to work out after all, the palace is invaded by a host of new cousins and other royals who all seem to be angry at Olivia (although Grandmere says they are just jealous). As the day of the wedding gets closer and closer, Olivia becomes more and more worried. For such a carefully planned event, it seems like a LOT of things are going wrong. . . . Can Olivia keep this royal wedding from becoming a royal disaster? This is fun, illustrated middle grade—and this is the first series illustrated by Meg Cabot herself! The paperback features an interview with Meg Cabot and an excerpt of the next book.

  • George Washington's Teeth - From battling toothaches while fighting the British, to having rotten teeth removed by his dentists, the Father of His Country suffered all his life with tooth problems. Yet, contrary to popular belief, he never had a set of wooden teeth. Starting at the age of twenty-four, George Washington lost on average a tooth a year, and by the time he was elected president, he had only two left! In this reverentially funny tale written in verse and based on Washington’s letters, diaries, and other historical records, readers will find out what really happened as they follow the trail of lost teeth to complete tooflessness. Illustrated in watercolors with subtle humor by Brock Cole, the main story is followed by a four-page time line featuring reproduced period portraits of Washington.

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Boys don’t keep diaries―or do they? The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary. In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion. Author/illustrator Jeff Kinney recalls the growing pains of school life and introduces a new kind of hero who epitomizes the challenges of being a kid. As Greg says in his diary, “Just don’t expect me to be all ‘Dear Diary’ this and ‘Dear Diary’ that.” Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won’t do and what he actually does are two very different things. Since its launch in May 2004 on Funbrain.com, the Web version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been viewed by 20 million unique online readers. This year, it is averaging 70,000 readers a day.

The Clue in the Diary #7
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A special treat for Nancy Drew fans, and any reader who’s new to the series! This is a stunning new edition of an old favourite, The Clue in the Diary, the seventh book in the incredibly popular, long-running series. It’s the same exciting mystery that readers have fallen in love with for more than 80 years - Nancy must figure out the connection between a mysterious diary and a suspicious house fire. Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won’t want to miss!

Harriet The Spy
Written by Louise Fitzhugh
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“The 50th annivesary edition of Harriet the Spy includes tributes to this timeless coming-of-age story from Judy Blume, Rebecca Stead, and other notable authors.” - Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor

This special 50th Anniversary Edition of the classic and ground-breaking coming-of-age novel, Harriet the Spy, includes tributes by Judy Blume, Meg Cabot, Lois Lowry, Rebecca Stead, and many more, as well as a map of Harriet’s New York City neighborhood and spy route and original author/editor correspondence.

Using her keen observation skills, 11-year-old Harriet M. Welsch writes down in her notebook what she considers the truth about everyone in and around her New York City neighborhood. When she loses track of her notebook, it ends up in the wrong hands, and before she can stop them, her friends read the sometimes awful things she’s observed and written about each of them. How can Harriet find a way to keep her integrity and also put her life and her friendships back together?

“I don’t know of a better novel about the costs and rewards of being a truth teller, nor of any book that made more readers of my generation want to become fiction writers. I love the story of Harriet so much I feel as if I lived it.” —Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom and The Corrections

Dear America: Like the Willow Tree
Written by Lois Lowry
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Two-time Newbery Award-winning author Lois Lowry brings a brand-new, beautiful diary to the Dear America series!

Suddenly orphaned by the Spanish flu epidemic in the fall of 1918, eleven-year-old Lydia Pierce and her fourteen-year-old brother, Daniel, of Portland, Maine, are taken by their uncle to be raised in the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake. Thrust into the Shakers’ unfamiliar way of life, Lydia must grapple with a new world that is nothing like the one she used to know.

Now separated from her beloved brother, for men and women do not mix in this community, Lydia must adjust to many changes. But in time, and with her courageous spirit, she learns to find the joy in life again.

Cleopatra VII, Daughter of the Nile
Written & illustrated by Kristiana Gregory
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Written in a diary-style format, this work presents the experiences and feelings of the young queen-to-be while providing informative facts about her homelife, family and royal enviroment. 90,000 first printing.

Strider
Written by Beverly Cleary & illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Strider has a new habit. Whenever we stop, he places his paw on my foot. It isn’t an accident because he always does it. I like to think he doesn’t want to leave me.

Can a stray dog change the life of a teenage boy? It looks as if Strider can. He’s a dog that loves to run; because of Strider, Leigh Botts finds himself running — well enough to join the school track team. Strider changes Leigh on the inside, too, as he finally begins to accept his parents’ divorce and gets to know a redheaded girl he’s been admiring. With Strider’s help, Leigh finds that the future he once hated to be asked about now holds something he never expected: hope.

  • Lizzy Bennet's Diary - Jane Austen’s beloved heroine Lizzy Bennet tells the story of Pride and Prejudice in her own words in an illustrated diary created by Marcia Williams. When Lizzy Bennet’s father gives her a diary, she fancies she will use it to write a novel, as her real life is exceedingly dull. Then the handsome Mr. Bingley moves to nearby Netherfield Park, and suddenly life is every bit as thrilling as a novel would be. Who will he dance with at the Meryton ball? Who is his haughty friend? Will Lizzy ever receive a marriage proposal? Readers will have to read her diary to find out! Marcia Williams offers a lively introduction to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in a highly illustrated scrapbook-diary format, featuring such novelties as foldout notes from sisters and suitors, an elegant bill of fare, and an invitation to the ball.

  • Tangerine - Paul Fisher sees the world from behind glasses so thick he looks like a bug-eyed alien. But he’s not so blind that he can’t see there are some very unusual things about his family’s new home in Tangerine County, Florida. Where else does a sinkhole swallow the local school, fire burn underground for years, and lightning strike at the same time every day?The chaos is compounded by constant harassment from his football–star brother, and adjusting to life in Tangerine isn’t easy for Paul—until he joins the soccer team at his middle school. With the help of his new teammates, Paul begins to discover what lies beneath the surface of his strange new hometown. And he also gains the courage to face up to some secrets his family has been keeping from him for far too long. In Tangerine, it seems, anything is possible.

  • The Friendship Lie - Cora Davis’s life is garbage. Literally. Her professor parents study what happens to trash after it gets thrown away, and Cora knows exactly how it feels—to be thrown away. Between her mom and dad separating and a fallout with her best friend, fifth grade for Cora has been a year of feeling like being tossed into the dumpster. But Cora has learned a couple of things from her parents’ trash-tracking studies: Things don’t always go where they’re supposed to, and sometimes the things you thought you got rid of come back. And occasionally, one person’s trash is another’s treasure, which Cora and Sybella learn when they come across a diary detailing best-friendship problems. Told in two intertwining points of view, comes a warm, wry story of friendship, growing up, and being true to yourself. Written by Rebecca Donnelly, author of How to Stage a Catastrophe (an Indies Introduce and Indie Next List honoree), The Friendship Lie will speak to any reader who has struggled with what to hold on to and what to throw away.

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