Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
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|Series||Diary of a Wimpy Kid|
November 4, 2014 (U.S.A)|
November 5, 2014 (U.K)
|Media type||Print (paperback, hardcover)|
|Preceded by||Hard Luck|
|Followed by||Old School|
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is a children's novel written by Jeff Kinney and is the ninth book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. On April 28, 2014, Kinney announced the book's name and its cover color. The book was released on November 5, 2014 in the UK.
After summer vacation starts, Greg's mother Susan announces that the family is going on a surprise road trip, despite her mistake on using a visit to Aunt Loretta to hide a surprise trip to Disney World in previous years, which, according to Greg, confuses Manny, leading to a visit at their aunt's instead and a postponed trip to Disney World. They decide to go to a simple road trip to see several tourist attractions. At a cheap motel on the first night of the road trip, Greg and Rodrick decide to go to the pool, but find that there is no water in it. There is a hot tub nearby, but it is occupied by another family, who aren’t willing to leave the hot tub. They return to their room to find that the rest of the family has fallen asleep, taking up the bed. Rodrick proceeds to make a bed for himself out of sofa cushions, leaving Greg to sleep in the closet. He falls asleep for a few minutes before being woken up by kids who were playing with a cleaning cart. Greg yells at them for causing a commotion, making the smallest child cry and call for his father, who nearly catches Greg. Greg nicknames the family the "Beardos".
The next day, the Heffleys go to a country fair, where Greg finds that the Beardos are there as well. Rodrick wins a "foulest footwear competition", but doesn't get his shoe back. Manny wins a competition for guessing a hog's weight, but the prize is a piglet, which the Heffleys are forced to take with them. The family plans to spend the night at a hotel suite, but it has a strict no pet policy, so Susan smuggles the baby pig in a cooler until the Heffleys reach their room. The pig ends up raiding the minibar, forcing the family to pay not only for the food and drinks consumed by the pig, but also an extra $50 for violating the hotel's no animal policy.
On their third day, Greg's dad Frank gets an emergency call from work. In the meantime, the family go to various places. While driving, Dad gets a call from one of his international clients, asking the family to stay quiet. But chaos ensues, Greg is bitten by the pig, and it attempts to escape, consequently ruining Frank's call. Infuriated, Frank ends up taking the pig to a petting zoo, which upsets Manny. He tries to run away twice and is forced to be on a leash. It rains, and Susan rethinks their road trip plans over. She convinces the rest of the family to use a method of deciding which way to go for picking things, similar to how Choose Your Own Adventure works. The method works, but the car ends up in the middle of a funeral procession; Frank tries to make a few quick turns but fails to lose the funeral procession. Susan convinces Frank to take them to the nearest cemetery instead; Frank enters "cemetery" into the satellite navigation and finds one a block away; but upon arriving there they find out that they are in a pet cemetery. The procession are enraged by the Heffleys' and the family quickly escapes.
On the fourth day, the Heffleys choose to go to the beach. On the way there Greg sees a seagull sitting on the bridge fencing and throws it a cheese curl. It lands on the open sunroof wanting more and when Greg throws it another cheese curl, it bounces off the seagull's beak and the seagull swoops in and goes for the bag and Rodrick, who is driving at that time, panics and steps on the gas pedal, rear-ends the car in front of them and breaks their car's radiator. The Heffley's car is towed to a mechanic's shop for repairs. Greg is surprised to see that a water park that he was thinking about going to is very close to them, but many misfortunes happen, and the family believes that their valuables were stolen by the Beardos Greg encountered at the hotel. The Heffley's call the police, but to no avail. Their car keys were at the mechanic's and they go to the mechanic's to retrieve their car, but with their money presumed stolen, they cannot pay for the repairs. As a result, the mechanic uses sealant to temporarily fix the radiator. The drawback is that the car's heater has to run at full blast to prevent engine overheating. While on the highway, a tarp covering Frank's boat loosens and the Heffleys' items begin falling out. They spend two hours trying to retrieve the contents, but many items are still missing. The family finds some cash and tries to find a place to sleep. Greg's father drives the car into the wilderness mistakenly believing that there was going to be a camping site in that area.
The next morning, the whole family accidentally lock themselves out of the car. They send Manny in from the open sunroof, but then they remember that Manny had been trying to run away to find the piglet. After his attempt to drive the car fails, he lets them in. After a while, they find the motel where they spent their first night. They find the Beardos there again, and see them leave their room with their door unlocked. The family then enter the Beardos' room and rummage through their stuff, trying to find their own belongings, but find nothing belonging to them. Greg's dad decides to use the bathroom, while the family goes back to the car. Dad soon comes running out of the room and into their car with the Beardos' father hot on his heels. In the Heffleys' getaway, they forget to turn on the heater in their car, causing it to break down two miles down the road.
A purple car with two men pulls over and offers to help them. Greg's parents try to communicate with them, but discover that they can only speak Spanish. Luckily, to everyone's surprise, Manny speaks perfect Spanish to them and explains all the trouble on the trip, including the loss of his piglet. The two men give the Heffleys a ride back home, with a stop at the petting zoo to get Manny's piglet back.
After they arrive home, Greg's parents cancel their credit cards and purchase new phones. The boat is given to the brothers for their help, much to Frank's dismay. While digging through his short pants pockets, Greg finds the key to their locker in the water park and is caught in a dilemma. He thinks that he is reading a page of the Choose Your Own Adventure books and can either tell his parents the truth, sabotage his brother Rodrick by putting the key in his pants, or lastly, flush it down the toilet and forget about everything that happened.
A film adaptation of the book, starring Jason Drucker as Greg Heffley, was released on May 19, 2017.
- "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Long Haul, the biggest book of the year, goes on sale 11.4.14!". Abrams. April 28, 2014. Archived from the original on September 12, 2014.
- "Diary of a Wimpy Kid Virtually Live – Video - Wimpy Kid".