Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a series of fiction books written by the American author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney. It’s a children’s series about the young and wimpy Greg Heffley, his best friend Rowley, and his middle school problems.
It’s also a series of movies based on those books (four live-action and two animated features for now), so read the books before seeing the movies!
Reading The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series in Order:
Every entry in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid – It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.
- Rodrick Rules – As Greg enters the new school year, he’s eager to put the past three months behind him … and one event in particular. Unfortunately for Greg, his older brother, Rodrick, knows all about the incident Greg wants to keep under wraps. But secrets have a way of getting out … especially when a diary is involved.
- The Last Straw – Frank Heffley actually thinks he can get his son to toughen up, and he enlists Greg in organized sports and other ‘manly’ endeavors. Of course, Greg is able to easily sidestep his father’s efforts to change him. But when Greg’s dad threatens to send him to a military academy, Greg realizes he has to shape up … or get shipped out.
- Dog Days – It’s summer vacation, the weather’s great, and all the kids are having fun outside. So where’s Greg Heffley? Inside his house, playing video games with the shades drawn. But Greg’s mom has a different vision for an ideal summer … one packed with outdoor activities and ‘family togetherness.’
- The Ugly Truth – Greg suddenly finds himself dealing with the pressures of boy-girl parties, increased responsibilities, and even the awkward changes that come with getting older – all without his best friend, Rowley, at his side. Can Greg make it through on his own? Or will he have to face the ‘ugly truth’?
- Cabin Fever – Greg Heffley is in big trouble. School property has been damaged, and Greg is the prime suspect. But the crazy thing is, he’s innocent. Or at least sort of. The authorities are closing in, but when a surprise blizzard hits, the Heffley family is trapped indoors.
- The Third Wheel - A dance at Greg’s middle school has everyone scrambling to find a partner, and Greg is determined not to be left by the wayside. So he concocts a desperate plan to find someone – anyone! – to go with on the big night.
- Hard Luck – Greg Heffley’s on a losing streak. His best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him, and finding new friends in middle school is proving to be a tough task. To change his fortunes, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance. Will a roll of the dice turn things around, or is Greg’s life destined to be just another hard-luck story?
- The Long Haul - A family road trip is supposed to be a lot of fun … unless, of course, you’re the Heffleys. The journey starts off full of promise, then quickly takes several wrong turns. Gas station bathrooms, crazed seagulls, a fender bender, and a runaway pig are not exactly Greg Heffley’s idea of a good time. But even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure and this is one the Heffleys won’t soon forget.
- Old School – Life was better in the old days. Or was it? That’s the question Greg Heffley is asking as his town voluntarily unplugs and goes electronics-free. But modern life has its conveniences, and Greg isn’t cut out for an old-fashioned world.
- Double Down - The pressure’s really piling up on Greg Heffley. His mom thinks video games are turning his brain to mush, so she wants her son to put down the controller and explore his ‘creative side.’ When Greg discovers a bag of gummy worms, it sparks an idea. Can he get his mom off his back by making a movie?
- The Getaway – With the cold weather and the stress of the approaching holiday season, the Heffleys decide to escape to a tropical island resort for some much-needed rest and relaxation. But the Heffleys soon discover that paradise isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be.
- The Meltdown – When snow shuts down Greg Heffley’s middle school, his neighborhood transforms into a wintry battlefield for epic snowball fights. It’s a fight for survival as Greg and Rowley navigate alliances, betrayals, and warring gangs in a neighborhood meltdown.
- Wrecking Ball – An unexpected inheritance gives Greg Heffley’s family a chance to make big changes to their house. But they soon find that home improvement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
- The Deep End – But things take an unexpected turn, and they find themselves stranded at an RV park that’s not exactly a summertime paradise. When the skies open up and the water starts to rise, the Heffleys wonder if they can save their vacation-or if they’re already in too deep.
- Big Shot – After a disastrous field day competition at school, Greg decides that when it comes to his athletic career, he’s officially retired. But after his mom urges him to give sports one more chance, he reluctantly agrees to sign up for basketball. Tryouts are a mess, and Greg is sure he won’t make the cut. But he unexpectedly lands a spot on the worst team.
- Diper Overlode – When he decides to tag along with his brother Rodrick’s band, Löded Diper, Greg doesn’t realize what he’s getting into. But he soon learns that late nights, unpaid gigs, fighting between band members, and money troubles are all part of the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. Can Greg help Löded Diper become the legends they think they are? Or will too much time with Rodrick’s band be a diper överlöde?
- No Brainer – Up until now, middle school hasn’t exactly been a joyride for Greg Heffley. So when the town threatens to close the crumbling building, he’s not too broken up about it. But when Greg realizes this means he’s going to be sent to a different school than his best friend, Rowley Jefferson, he changes his tune. Can Greg and his classmates save their school before it’s shuttered for good? Or is this the start of a whole new chapter for Greg?
If you like our article about the Diary of a Wimpy Kid reading order, don’t forget to bookmark it! You may also be interested in the work of Dav Pilkey, The Last Kids on Earth series, or the Tom Gates series.