I have been reading this to my 9 year old daughter, following on from the first book in the series, which was a real hit with her. She really looks forward to bedtime.
Some of the story lines are quite emotionally touching. On a basic level these books are an entertaining read with the general fun and capers of school life, but on a deeper level, there are some great messages in there for little listening ears, about honesty, humility, good friendship and all the other human emotions that are part of growing up. Some of the messages are pretty obviously laid out for an adult reading it, but obviously to the young audience the messages need to be clearly spelled out and it's amazing how well my daughter reacts. Some things are very relevant today and even as an adult I find myself almost heeding the good advice. I can identify well with the messages, such as how feeling good about yourself inside, through good health, self control and self love, can make you work harder and more positively and make you more popular with your piers.
In a society over obsessed with self image, technology and superficial 'social networking', I can think of no better antidote than a good old fashioned book with old fashioned values, and at the very least a cracking good page turner.