Diary of a Wimpy Kid

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid
The word "Diary" in a serif font, followed by "of a Wimpy Kid" in hand lettering
Created byJeff Kinney
Original workDiary of a Wimpy Kid (2007; preceded by online version on Funbrain in 2004)
Print publications
Book(s)Books list
Films and television
Film(s)Film series
Theatrical presentations
Official website
wimpykid.com (US) wimpykidclub.co.uk (UK)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is an American children's book series and media franchise created by American author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney.[1][2] The series follows Greg Heffley, a middle-schooler who illustrates his daily life in a diary (although he insists that it is a journal).[3]

Kinney spent eight years working on the first book before showing it to a publisher.[4] In 2004, Funbrain and Kinney released an online version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The website made daily entries from September 2004 to June 2005.[5] The online version had received almost 20 million views by 2009. Nonetheless, many online readers requested a printed version. In February 2006, during the New York Comic Con, Kinney signed a multi-book deal with publisher Abrams Books to turn Diary of a Wimpy Kid into a printed book series.[4] The first installment was released in April 2007[5] and received immediate success. In April 2009, Time magazine named Kinney in the Time 100 most influential people.[6]

Eighteen books in the series have been released as of 2023, as well as an activity book. A spin-off series centering on the character Rowley Jefferson has three installments as of 2021.[7] 20th Century Studios produced a live-action film series of the same title from 2010 to 2017, and two animated films in the early 2020s.[8]

Since the release of the online version, most of the books have garnered positive reviews and commercial success. As of 2020, more than 250 million copies have been sold globally, making it the fourth best-selling book series of all time.[9]


1Diary of a Wimpy KidApril 1, 2007978-0-8109-9313-6
The introduction to the series focuses on the protagonist, Greg Heffley, and his various attempts to become popular in school.
2Rodrick RulesFebruary 1, 2008978-0-8109-9473-7
When his older brother Rodrick threatens to reveal an embarrassing incident from the previous summer, Greg must keep it under wraps while enduring Rodrick's tyrannical behavior.
3The Last StrawJanuary 13, 2009978-0-8109-7068-7
Greg's father, Frank, intends to send him to a military academy to instill discipline and diligence. Greg must persuade him to reconsider, while also trying to impress Holly Hills, his romantic interest.
4Dog DaysOctober 12, 2009978-0-8109-8391-5
Over summer vacation, Greg struggles with a boardwalk vacation, staying friends with Rowley, impressing a high school girl at the town pool, and coping with a new pet dog.
5The Ugly TruthNovember 9, 2010978-0-8109-8491-2
As Greg embarks on a new school year, he must confront the challenges of adolescence, including changing dentists, attending a school lock-in, and learning about puberty.
6Cabin FeverNovember 15, 2011978-1-4197-0223-5
The family is stranded in the house during a blizzard, while Greg fears that he will go to jail for accidentally vandalizing his school.
7The Third WheelNovember 13, 2012978-1-4197-0584-7
Greg tries to find a date for a school Valentine's Day dance, and he and Rowley end up both taking a girl named Abigail.
8Hard LuckNovember 5, 2013978-1-4197-1132-9
Continuing from the last book, Abigail and Rowley form a romantic relationship, leaving Greg feeling isolated. As his situation deteriorates, he turns to a Magic 8-Ball to guide his decisions.
9The Long HaulNovember 4, 2014978-1-4197-1189-3
The Heffleys go on a road trip over the summer.
10Old SchoolNovember 3, 2015978-1-4197-1701-7
Greg's mother petitions the town to not use electronics for a weekend. Later, to avoid his dad after accidentally ruining the car, Greg goes on a school field trip to an old-fashioned farm.
11Double DownNovember 1, 2016978-1-4197-2344-5
Greg explores his creative talents by playing an instrument, making a movie with Rowley, and attending a wild Halloween party.
12The GetawayNovember 7, 2017978-1-4197-2545-6
For the holiday season, the Heffleys board a plane to a tropical resort.
13The MeltdownOctober 30, 2018978-1-4197-2743-6
In the winter, Greg and Rowley participate in a street-wide snowball fight.
14Wrecking BallNovember 5, 2019978-0241396636
The Heffleys receive an inheritance from Greg's recently deceased great-aunt and use the money to renovate their house. When construction goes awry and Greg's school has its funding cut, the family looks for new houses to move into.
15The Deep EndOctober 27, 2020978-1419748684
The Heffleys find themselves stranded at an RV park on a camping trip.
16Big ShotOctober 26, 2021978-1419749155
A disastrous field day at school prompts Greg to renounce athletic activities. However, his mom coerces him to try out for basketball. Greg is placed on a less than promising team, and it is up to him to lead them to victory.
17Diper Överlöde[10]October 25, 2022978-1419762949
When he decides to tag along with his brother Rodrick's band, Löded Diper, Greg unwittingly embarks on a tour filled with late nights, uncompensated performances, internal conflicts, and financial challenges—typical components of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle.
18No BrainerOctober 24, 2023978-1419766947
Greg's middle school is on the brink of closure due to low test scores and funding cuts. Despite the principal's efforts, the situation remains dire. Greg and his fellow classmates must raise their test scores to save their school.

Supplementary books[edit]

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book 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 60 extra 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.[verification needed]
    • 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.[verification needed]
  • 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.[11]


A spin-off series has been published, written from Rowley's perspective. The first installment, Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal, was released on April 9, 2019, and is a series of anecdotes about Greg and Rowley's friendship. The second, Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure, is in the style of a fantasy adventure and was released on August 4, 2020.[12] The book's original release date was April 7, 2020,[13][14] but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The third, Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories, was released on March 16, 2021.[7][15]


Audiobooks have been released for each main installment in 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 middle school student, who is the main character and narrator of the series. He is an anti-hero, described by Kinney as "cocksure" and "misguided".[16]
  • Rowley Jefferson is Greg's good-natured best friend.
  • 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.
  • Grandpa is Greg's paternal grandfather who is sometimes noted for irritating Greg.
  • Fregley is Greg's odd 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.
  • Heather Hills is Holly's sister, and was Greg and Rodrick's crush.
  • Sweetie is the name given to the Heffleys' temporary dog, who annoys Greg. Later on, they give him to Gramma, who spoils him and is the cause of him becoming overweight.
  • An unnamed pig was won by Manny at a county fair. The pig displays high intelligence, and walks upright. In The Getaway, the family put the pig in a kennel while they went on vacation but the pig escaped and hasn't been seen since.


Awards and honors[edit]

Award Category Result
#1 New York Times Best Seller (664 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[17]
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
2023 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Nominated

Commercial success[edit]

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 664 weeks as of December 8, 2021.[18] 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.[19]

The series has sold over 200 million books [20] in 56 languages and 65 editions throughout the world.[21] The series has also generated over $500 million in revenue.[22]



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.[23] 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.[8][24]

The second film in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series, which was released on March 25, 2011,[25] was based on the second book Rodrick Rules, with Zachary Gordon reprising his role as Greg Heffley. The film also contains some elements from The Last Straw within its plot.

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.[26]

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 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,[27][28] but as of 2021 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.[29] The film was released on May 19 , 2017 and was based on The Long Haul.

On August 6, 2019, Disney announced they would reboot Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Home Alone and Night at the Museum for their streaming service, Disney+.[30] On December 10, 2020, Disney announced at their 2020 Investor's Day that an animated Diary of a Wimpy Kid film would be coming to Disney+ on December 3, 2021.[31]


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Musical was produced by the Children's Theatre Company in 2016.[32][33]


  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. ^ a b "WIMPY 2 LAST". November 3, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". FunBrain. Family Education Network. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  6. ^ Simpson, Forrest (2009). "The 2009 Time 100: Jeff Kinney". Time.
  7. ^ a b Yasharoff, Hannah. "How 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' author Jeff Kinney became the king of COVID-19 book tours". USA TODAY.
  8. ^ a b ""Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)" on". Comingsoon.net. March 19, 2010. Archived from the original on January 22, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  9. ^ Kantor, Emma (May 26, 2020). "Wimpy Kid 15 Cover and Title Revealed". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  10. ^ "Diper Överlöde". WimpyKid. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  11. ^ Kinney, Jeff. "The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary: The Next Chapter". Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  12. ^ @wimpykid (March 18, 2020). "Hey everyone - we made the decision to delay Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure until August 4th. (more)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ Maughan, Shannon (February 13, 2020). "Jeff Kinney's First 'Wimpy Kid' Fantasy Adventure Due in April". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  14. ^ Kinney, Jeff (2020). Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure. Amulet Books (published August 4, 2020). ISBN 9781419749094. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  15. ^ Kinney, Jeff (2021). Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories. Amulet Books (published March 16, 2021). ISBN 9781419756979. Retrieved July 12, 2023.
  16. ^ Colangelo, B. J. (December 7, 2021). "Diary Of A Wimpy Kid's Creator Says Greg Isn't A Sociopath, He's Just A 12-Year-Old - /Film". SlashFilm.com. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  17. ^ "The 2018 Kids' Choice Awards - Kids Games, Videos, Pictures". www.nick.com. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  18. ^ Dixler, Elsa. "The New York Times Best Sellers: Children's Books". The New York Times. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  19. ^ "USA Today: Best-Selling Books Database". USA Today. April 21, 2011. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  20. ^ "Jeff Kinney to Hit the Road for The Meltdown". Publishers Weekly. September 25, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  21. ^ "Get Ready to Read Diary O A Wimpy Wean". Scottish Field. October 1, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  22. ^ Lewis, Andy (June 27, 2011). "Inside 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid's' $500 Million Franchise". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  23. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules – On Double DVD and Blu-ray Now". Diaryofawimpykidmovie.com. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  24. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". Retrieved October 21, 2018 – via www.imdb.com.
  25. ^ 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' Sequel to Bow Next March Archived March 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Moviefone. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  26. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days". ComingSoon.net. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on November 10, 2014. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  27. ^ Peterson, Karyn M. (October 30, 2013). "Hard Luck and Big Dreams: SLJ Chats with "Wimpy Kid" Creator Jeff Kinney". School Library Journal. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  28. ^ Minzesheimer, Bob (August 8, 2013). "Narrator hits 'Hard Luck' in eighth Wimpy Kid book". USA Today. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  29. ^ Kinney, Jeff (September 13, 2016). "OK, this is really happening! Filming starts next week in Atlanta!". Twitter. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  30. ^ Paur, Joey (August 6, 2019). "Disney Plans To Reboot HOME ALONE, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM, and DIARY OF A WIMPY KID". GeekTyrant.
  31. ^ Polo, Susana (December 10, 2020). "A Diary of a Wimpy Kid animated movie is coming to Disney Plus". Polygon. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  32. ^ Gilmore, Natasha (March 10, 2016). "Wimpy Kid #11 to Hit Shelves This November". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  33. ^ Papatola, Dominic P. (May 27, 2016). "'Wimpy' or Not, This Kid Might Make It to Broadway". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 12, 2023.

External links[edit]