Diary of a Wimpy Kid (book series)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a series of fiction books written by the American author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney.[1][2] All the main books are the journals of the main character, Greg Heffley. Befitting a teen's diary, the books are filled with hand-written notes and simple drawings of Greg's daily adventures.[3]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid
The logo of the series, appearing on the book covers, blogs, web comic and the films.

AuthorJeff Kinney
CountryUnited States
GenreRealistic fiction
PublisherAmulet Books / Puffin Books
PublishedApril 1, 2007 – present
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)

Since the release of the online version in May 2004, most of the books have garnered positive reviews and commercial success. as of January 2019, more than 200 million copies have been sold globally.[4]

The first, second, fourth and ninth installments have been adapted into films by 20th Century Fox.[5]

The game Poptropica has released two islands themed after Diary of a Wimpy Kid, called Wimpy Wonderland and Wimpy Boardwalk.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid officially began when Kinney brought up an idea about a middle-school weakling named Greg Heffley, who wrote about his personal life. In May 2004, FunBrain and Kinney released an online version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The website made daily entries until June 2005.[6] He worked on his book for almost eight years, before showing it to a publisher in New York.

In February 2006, during the New York Comic Con, Jeff signed a multi-book deal with publisher Harry N. Abrams, Inc., to turn Diary of a Wimpy Kid into a print series.[7]

The book became an instant hit, and the online version received about 20 million views as of 2009. Nonetheless, many online readers requested a printed version; Kinney agreed, and in April 2007, Diary of a Wimpy Kid was published.[6] To date, fourteen Wimpy Kid books have been released, plus one do-it-yourself book, two movie diaries, and a spin-off. In April 2009, TIME named Kinney one of The World's Most Influential People.[8]


1Diary of a Wimpy KidApril 1, 2007ISBN 978-0-8109-9313-6
The introduction to the series introduces the protagonist, Greg Heffley, his best friend Rowley, his middle school problems, Halloween, and the Cheese Touch. 
2Rodrick RulesFebruary 1, 2008ISBN 978-0-8109-9473-7
Greg's brother threatens to reveal a secret incident that took place last summer, and Greg must prevent this from happening while putting up with his brother's oppressive ways. 
3The Last StrawJanuary 13, 2009ISBN 978-0-8109-7068-7
When Greg's father plans to send him to a military academy, Greg must find a way to prove himself and make him reconsider. 
4Dog DaysOctober 12, 2009ISBN 978-0-8109-8391-5
Summer is here, but when Greg's family does not have enough money to go to the beach, it might not be the best summer ever. 
5The Ugly TruthNovember 9, 2010ISBN 978-0-8109-8491-2
Greg is growing up, and he will have to face the challenges of this period like changing dentists, and a school lock-in. 
6Cabin FeverNovember 15, 2011ISBN 978-1-4197-0223-5
The family is stranded in the house as snow begins to fall. 
7The Third WheelNovember 13, 2012ISBN 978-1-4197-0584-7
The Valentine's Day dance is coming up, and Greg has no one to go with. But when Michael Sampson (Abigail's date) will not be going, Greg seeks an opportunity. 
8Hard LuckNovember 5, 2013ISBN 978-1-4197-1132-9
Continuing from the last book, Abigail and Rowley are now a couple, ditching and depressing Greg. When things get worse for him, Greg decides to use a magic 8-ball and attempt to turn his life around. 
9The Long HaulNovember 4, 2014ISBN 978-1-4197-1189-3
For their second summer vacation, the family goes on a road trip, which won't go smoothly with chaos looming. 
10Old SchoolNovember 3, 2015ISBN 978-1-4197-1701-7
When Greg damages the family car, he decides to participate in the school's week-long farm trip to avoid his father's wrath, but it also means he must last a week without electricity, which may prove to be a challenge for him. 
11Double DownNovember 1, 2016ISBN 978-1-4197-2344-5
Greg's mom wants him to do something else than video games, so he makes a movie in collaboration with Rowley and joins the music program. 
12The GetawayNovember 7, 2017ISBN 978-1-4197-2545-6
Instead of celebrating the holidays at home, Greg and his family head on a tropical vacation to a resort. But what first starts as an relaxing trip later turns into a Christmas nightmare. 
13The MeltdownOctober 30, 2018ISBN 978-1-4197-2743-6
When a wintry blast closes Greg Heffley’s middle school, it turns his neighborhood into a battleground, complete with snow forts, alliances, betrayals and epic snowball fights. 
14Wrecking BallNovember 5, 2019[9]ISBN 978-0241396636
The Heffleys receive an inheritance and use the money to renovate their house.[9] 

Supplementary books

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book (published between Rodrick Rules and The Last Straw) is an activity book that features a blank section encouraging readers to keep their own journal in the style of the books.
  • The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book (published after the second edition of Wimpy Kid Movie Diary and before Cabin Fever) is the same book as the first Do-It-Yourself Book, but with extra 60 pages and 16 more full-color comics.
  • The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary is a book about the making of the first film, which features stills and brand-new illustrations. Jeff Kinney dedicated the book to the film's main stars, Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron.
  • The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary: Now Includes The New Movie Rodrick Rules is an updated version of the first book, now featuring stills from the second film Rodrick Rules, more new illustrations, and information on how the second film was made.
  • The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary: The Story of All 3 Movies! is the second updated version of the first book, now adding stills from the third film Dog Days, and information on how this film was made.
  • The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary: The Next Chapter covers how the film The Long Haul was made. It is dedicated to Jason Drucker, the actor who played Greg in that movie.[10]
  • Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal tells the story of the series from the naïve and childish perspective of Greg's friend Rowley Jefferson.[11]


A spin-off entitled Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal was released on April 9, 2019. It contains new stories told from the perspective of Greg's best friend, Rowley.[12]

Toys and games

Action figures included a minifigure pack (with Greg, Rowley, and Fregley), a 6-inch Greg Heffley figure, a 6-inch holiday figure based on Cabin Fever, and a Greg and Rodrick plush doll.


Thirteen audiobooks have been released for the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The Recorded Books versions are read by Ramon de Ocampo, while the Penguin Books versions are read by Dan Russell, who has done so since The Third Wheel, and in 2018 he re-narrated the first 6 books for the markets where Penguin publish the series.


  • Greg Heffley is a wimpy student, who is the main character and narrator of the series.
  • Rowley Jefferson is Greg's best friend from his childhood.
  • Rodrick Heffley is Greg and Manny's older brother, who is rude, and the drummer in his band Löded Diper. He usually is noted for playing tricks on Greg.
  • Manny Heffley is Greg and Rodrick's spoiled younger brother, who is known to be a tattletale.
  • Susan Heffley is Greg's mother. She often embarrasses Greg.
  • Frank Heffley is Greg's father. He always wants Greg to do sports and "to become a man," and doesn't like giving up.
  • Gramma is Greg's maternal grandmother.
  • Fregley is Greg's weird neighbor and classmate.
  • Chirag Gupta is one of Greg's friends whom he once played a trick on, pretending Chirag to have been invisible, then later pretended he was going deaf.
  • Holly Hills is Greg's crush, who once thought he was "Fregley".
  • Heather Hills is Holly's sister, and was Greg and Rodrick's crush.
  • Sweetie, is the name given to the Heffleys' dog who Greg's dad buys in Dog Days. Later on, they give him to Greg's grandmother, who spoils him, and when he appears in later books he is said to be very overweight.
  • An unnamed pig was won by Manny in The Long Haul. The pig displays high intelligence, and walks upright in a reference to Animal Farm. During the events of The Meltdown, it runs away.
  • Abigail Brown is Rowley's girlfriend in The Third Wheel and in Hard Luck for the majority of pages; however, it is later revealed that Abigail only did it to make her previous boyfriend feel bad.
  • Vice Principal Roy, Vice Principal at Greg's school, who conducts most of the disciplinary action at the school.


Awards and honors

Award Category Result
#1 New York Times Best Seller (114 weeks) Won
2008 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Book
2009 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Nominated
ALA Notable Book Won
2010 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Book[13]
2010 Most Favorite Book Around the World
2011 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Book
2012 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards
2013 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Nominated
2014 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Won
2015 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards
2016 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards

Commercial success

Diary of a Wimpy Kid was well received from The Princeton Review, Gold Card Association, The Dallas News, The TRR Editors, The NW Press, and The JJ Printing Company. The New York Times, which ranks children's serials collectively on a "Series Books" bestseller list, has included the Wimpy Kid series for 64 weeks as of August 10, 2015.[14] USA Today, which ranks best sellers based on sales alone regardless of genre or intended audience, has listed Diary of a Wimpy Kid in its top 150, peaking at number 8, for 141 weeks as of April 4, 2010.

As of the same date, Rodrick Rules has been on the list for 117 weeks (peaking at number 4), The Last Straw has been on the list for 65 weeks (peaking at number 1), Dog Days has been on the list for all 25 weeks of its publication (peaking at number 1), and The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary has been listed for all three weeks of its publication, peaking at number 2.[15]

The series has sold over 200 million books [16] in 56 languages and 65 editions throughout the world.[17] The series has also generated over $500 million in revenue.[18]


Jeff Kinney announced that a film based on the first book would be produced by 20th Century Fox. The film was released on March 19, 2010, moved up from an April 2 release date.[19] It was directed by Thor Freudenthal, who also directed Hotel for Dogs. The film starred Zachary Gordon as Greg, Robert Capron as Rowley (Greg's best friend), Steve Zahn as Frank (Greg's father), Rachael Harris as Susan (Greg's mother), Devon Bostick as Rodrick (Greg's older brother), Connor and Owen Fielding as Manny (Greg's younger brother), Chloë Grace Moretz as a new character named Angie, and Grayson Russell as Fregley.[5][20]

There is a second film in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series that was released on March 25, 2011,[21] which was based on the second book Rodrick Rules, with Zachary Gordon returning as Greg Heffley. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules was also filmed in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The film also contains some scenes from The Last Straw.

The third film combines the third and fourth books The Last Straw and Dog Days, taking stories from both, but mainly from Dog Days, from which it took its title. The decision to blend the two films was made to keep up with the ages of the actors. The film was released on August 3, 2012.[22]

The likelihood of a fourth live action film was slim. Kinney has announced the possibility for an animated film to be based on Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever as the next installment. In an interview for the latest book Hard Luck, Jeff Kinney stated he was working with Fox on a half-hour special of Cabin Fever, which was to be aired in late 2014,[23][24] but as of 2019 no updates on the special have been announced. In September 2016, Jeff Kinney announced officially the production of a fourth film, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, on his Twitter account.[25] On August 6, 2019, Disney announced they were to reboot Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Home Alone and Night at the Museum for Disney+.[26]


A musical titled Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Musical was produced by the Children's Theatre Company in 2016.[27]


  1. Browne, David (March 20, 2011). "All about Jeff Kinney". Parade. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  2. "Ten years ago, Jeff Kinney created a new kind of comic hero". The Washington Post. Associated Press. April 26, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017. Abrams Books said the 12th book, coming November 7, will be called “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway.”
  3. Kinney, Jeff (April 2007). Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's journal. Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Amulet Books. ISBN 978-0-8109-9313-6.
  4. ABRAMS. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid World to Expand in April 2019 With New Book: Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  5. ""Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)" on". Comingsoon.net. March 19, 2010. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  6. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". FunBrain. Family Education Network. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  7. "WIMPY 2 LAST". November 3, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  8. The 2009 TIME 100: Jeff Kinney Time magazine's 2009 list of The World's Most Influential People
  9. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball on Amazon". Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  10. Kinney, Jeff. "The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary: The Next Chapter". Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  11. Kinney, Jeff (October 15, 2018). "Just announced! I'm writing a short story from Rowley's perspective for @WorldBookDayUK 2019.pic.twitter.com/ZU9UdUxolJ".
  12. Kinney, Jeff [@wimpykid] (January 8, 2019). "I'm working on a new book that comes out April 9th! Wimpy Kid from Rowley's perspective..." (Tweet) via Twitter.
  13. "The 2018 Kids' Choice Awards - Kids Games, Videos, Pictures". www.nick.com. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  14. Dixler, Elsa. "The New York Times Best Sellers: Children's Books". The New York Times. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  15. "USA Today: Best-Selling Books Database". USA Today. April 21, 2011. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  16. "Jeff Kinney to Hit the Road for The Meltdown". Publishers Weekly. September 25, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  17. "Get Ready to Read Diary O A Wimpy Wean". Scottish Field. October 1, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  18. Lewis, Andy (June 27, 2011). "Inside 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid's' $500 Million Franchise". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  19. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules – On Double DVD and Blu-ray Now". Diaryofawimpykidmovie.com. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  20. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". Retrieved October 21, 2018 via www.imdb.com.
  21. 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' Sequel to Bow Next March Archived March 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Moviefone. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  22. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". ComingSoon.net. CraveOnline. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  23. "Hard Luck and Big Dreams: SLJ Chats with "Wimpy Kid" Creator Jeff Kinney". School Library Journal. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  24. Minzesheimer, Bob (August 8, 2013). "Narrator hits 'Hard Luck' in eighth Wimpy Kid book". USA Today. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  25. Kinney, Jeff (September 13, 2016). "OK, this is really happening! Filming starts next week in Atlanta!". Twitter. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  26. Disney will reboot these movies
  27. "Wimpy Kid #11 to Hit Shelves This November". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
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