cover image Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever

Jeff Kinney. Abrams/Amulet, $13.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0223-5

The timing of the release of the sixth book in Kinney%E2%80%99s bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is pretty much perfect, given that it%E2%80%99s set in the weeks leading up to Christmas. (Diehard fans, though, will have burned through it long before Thanksgiving dinner is served.) Kinney keeps to the formula that has worked so well for him, as Greg Heffley recounts, in diary entries and cartoons, his episodic misadventures at home and at school, mixing the timely (bullying, energy drink addiction, a creepy Elf on the Shelf%E2%80%93style doll called %E2%80%9CSanta%E2%80%99s Scout%E2%80%9D) with the timeless (school fundraisers, get-rich moneymaking schemes, sibling rivalry). Readers expecting an overarching focus on a snowed-in Heffley clan, based on the book%E2%80%99s concept, will have to wait a bit: the big storm doesn%E2%80%99t hit until pretty late in the game. But it%E2%80%99s unlikely that anyone will mind%E2%80%94Greg is as entertainingly self-serving as ever, and Kinney continues to excel at finding the innate humor in broadly relatable situations, from the futility of junk-food crackdowns to a toddler%E2%80%99s ability to exert control over an entire family. Ages 8%E2%80%9312. (Nov.)