IF you are struggling to get your child to read, this month’s Oxford Mail Junior Book Club book may provide inspiration.

Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has become a publishing phenomenon, with more than 42 million copies worldwide sold by 2010.

The Oxford Mail has teamed up with bookseller Waterstones to offer it as the first in our series of half-price for readers for 2013.

It is the third book in our Junior Book Club, which was launched in response to the Oxford Mail backed Oxfordshire Reading Campaign. It aims to improve the reading skills of the county’s youngest children while fostering a lifelong love of reading.

Waterstones events manager Charlie Hayes said of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: “It is hugely, hugely popular. We picked it because it is one of those books which appeals to boys who have difficulty getting into reading.

“A really common thing we hear from our customers is getting young boys into reading is quite hard and Wimpy Kid books is the fallback position we always go to.”

Jeff Kinney’s background is as a cartoonist and games designer, and the books are printed in handwritten style, illustrated with cartoons throughout.

Mr Hayes said: “When you open the book up, it’s not just pages of words, it’s drawings and it’s cartoons – it’s fun.”

The two previous books in the club, David Walliams’s Gangsta Granny and Michael Morpurgo’s A Medal for Leroy, were also a big hit with our younger readers, with many parents keeping both vouchers and bringing them in together to stock up on gifts before Christmas.

Mr Hayes said he had considered making the offer, which will allow parents and children to buy Diary of a Wimpy Kid for £3.50, for the most recent book in the series, The Third Wheel, but decided it was better to get youngsters hooked from the beginning.

He said: “We thought let’s start at the beginning because the idea of the book club is getting people started reading – hopefully having the voucher will attract people into the stories. We are hugely impressed by the success of the book club but we have been quite clever with the choice of titles.

“We have been trying to get them into books where there are others in the story so there are follow on books they can read afterwards.”

Cut out the attached voucher in today's Oxford Mail and take it to Waterstones in Broad Street, Oxford, by February 28.