Nicole Gilbert brought her sons, Graham and Seamus, complete with concert getups (Nicole wore hers to a recent New Kids on the Block concert), to see Jeff Kinney in Mason on Wednesday night.
The Campbell County family said the drive was totally worth it in order to get a signed book from the author of Graham and Seamus’ favorite books, Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
It was not a traditional book signing. Hosted at Mason Middle School, Joseph Beth Booksellers helped put on quite the show. It was, perhaps, the perfect setting for a book series that chronicles what it’s like to be an awkward middle schooler.
Kids and their parents were greeted with a table full of pre-signed copies of Kinney’s newest book, Diper Overlode. The popular graphic novels drew a sold-out crowd to the middle school’s auditorium, where Kinney talked about his books and hosted a show modeled after the band in Diper Overlode, called Loded Diper.
“Sometimes kids ask me, why did you spell Loded Diper wrong,” Kinney said on stage. “Well, Loded Diper was inspired by the bands I grew up listening to. So back in the day, lots of bands spelled their names wrong. We had Def Leppard, we had Motley Crue, and if you wanted to keep it dumb and short, we had Ratt.”
The parents, needless to say, loved that part.
“I mean, I love the books,” Seamus Gilbert said. He couldn’t come up with the words to say why, other than that they make him laugh.
“I like them because a lot of kids find them enjoyable to read,” Nicole Gilbert said. “I’m a teacher and it’s gotten a lot of kids to read.”
The show continued with a drawing tutorial, followed by a concert from Loded Diper themselves. The crowd, which came from near and far, loved every second of it.