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Diary of a Wimpy Kid

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This article is about the book. For the article about the series, see Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Diary of a Wimpy Kid cover.jpgThe book's original cover
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Special Cheesiest Edition cover.jpg
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Special Cheesiest Edition cover
Number 1
Release date April 1, 2007
Author Jeff Kinney
Illustrator Jeff Kinney
Preceded by Diary of a Wimpy Kid Online
Succeeded by Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Film adaptation Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (subtitled Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal on the title page) is the 1st book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. It was released on April 1, 2007, and was adapted into a movie, which premiered on March 19, 2010. Diary of a Wimpy Kid succeeds Diary of a Wimpy Kid Online and precedes Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules.

Major characters

Plot

The book begins with Greg Heffley insisting that he is writing in a "journal" and not a "diary," saying that he asked his mother not to buy a book with "diary" on the cover. He agreed to write in it for when he's "rich and famous," although he is currently "stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons." Greg sits between Chris Hosey and Lionel James, planning to sit between "hot girls" next period. The most popular student at Greg's school is Bryce Anderson, and Greg himself is around "52nd or 53rd most popular." He tries to explain popularity to his best friend Rowley Jefferson (who he thinks is around the 150th most popular), but he does not think Rowley understands.

The next day, Greg notices that the Cheese, a moldy piece of cheese that has been sitting on the blacktop since last spring, is still there. A student named Darren Walsh touched it and started the Cheese Touch, which one has to pass on to someone else by touching them if they catch it. The only way for one to protect themselves is to cross their fingers, and Greg tapes them together to avoid catching the Cheese Touch. A student named Abe Hall got it and moved away to California, ending the Cheese Touch, which Greg is glad about.

Greg has had trouble adjusting to waking up for school every morning, remembering that his brother Rodrick pranked him into thinking he slept through the entirety of summer vacation. He then gets assigned to reading groups in school and ends up in the Gifted group, despite wanting to be in the Easy group. On Saturday, Greg visits Rowley's house, although he feels that he should find a new best friend due to Rowley acting childish. Greg writes that although he can play pranks on Rowley, he could never get away with doing it on Manny, his little brother. Greg dislikes that Manny calls him "Bubby," an embarrassing nickname he has been trying to get rid of.

Greg writes that he is very skilled at video games, although his father does not appreciate his "skills" and wants him to play sports instead. Greg is kicked out of the house by his father, and he goes to Rowley's house to play video games instead, running through a sprinkler to look sweaty when he returns home. Tomorrow, Greg is sent outside to play again, although he dislikes needing to walk to Rowley's because of a strange kid named Fregley who lives between Greg and Rowley. Greg says that he would have went to Rowley's house even if his father had not sent him outside, because he thinks Rodrick's band, Löded Diper, is "REALLY awful" and does not want to hear them rehearsing.

Greg wants to listen to Rodrick's "Parental Warning" CD, so he asks Rowley to bring his CD player to school. Rowley does not have any batteries in his CD player, so Greg invents a game where they try to shake the headphones off their head as fast as possible. A teacher named Mrs. Craig tells them that rock and roll is "evil," and Rowley starts crying. Greg then plays the CD at home, forgetting to plug in his headphones and alerting his father, who grounds him from playing video games for two weeks. Rodrick gets in trouble when Manny brings in one of his heavy metal magazines, featuring "a woman in a bikini lying across the hood of a car," to his preschool's show-and-tell.

At school, Greg runs for Treasurer in the student government elections, thinking that everyone else will be running for positions like President and Vice President. He learns that he only has one opponent, named Marty Porter. Greg asks his father for help, and who shows posters he made when he was Greg's age. Greg likes the idea and makes insulting posters of Marty, which Vice Principal Roy takes down. Greg writes, "I guess this means my political career is officially over."

In October, Greg is excited for his and his father's favorite holiday; while Greg likes trick-or-treating, his father likes to hide in the bushes and drench passing teenagers with water. Greg and Rowley go to the Crossland High School haunted house, and are chased by someone in a hockey mask with a chainsaw until Greg's mother yells at him. The haunted house gives Greg and Rowley the idea to start their own in Rowley's basement. After they put up posters, they charge two dollars per person, and the first kid, Shane Snella, gets scared and refuses to move. Rowley's father comes downstairs and ends the haunted house, with Rowley being banned from having Greg over and not being allowed to watch TV.

Rowley's ban ends before Halloween, and he and Greg are able to go trick-or-treating with Manny and Greg's father. They are joined by their neighbor Mr. Mitchell and his son Jeremy. When Manny and Jeremy are taken home, Greg and Rowley continue trick-or-treating, and are sprayed by a teen riding in a truck with a fire extinguisher. Greg shouts that he will call the cops, and he and Rowley stay in Gramma's house for a while, mocking the teens. They walk home along Snake Road, and when they arrive at Greg's house, Greg's father soaks them with water.

While on their way to school, Greg sees that Gramma's house has been egged and toilet papered by the teenagers. Greg learns that the students will be doing a wrestling unit in school, and Greg tries tries to learn some wrestling moves from a video game. The next day, he learns that they have to wear "singlets" and they are paired up in weight groups, with Greg wrestling Fregley. Greg worries that with everybody wrestling at recess, somebody will roll into the Cheese. He then tries to get into the next weight class by stuffing his clothes with socks and shirts, but is still too light. He decides to start weightlifting instead, and asks his parents for advice. They suggest doing simple exercises, which Greg does not find helpful. He improvises equipment and tries weightlifting with Rowley.

The class has a geography quiz, and Patty Farrell tells the teacher that they should cover up the US map poster Greg planned on using to cheat. Greg fails and is "looking for a way to pay her back for that one." At home, Greg's mother makes him participate in a school play based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Patty tries out for Dorothy, the main character, and Greg considers being one of the witches, who get to do bad things to Dorothy. He learns that there is a Good Witch and a Bad Witch, and decides that he would probably be unlucky enough to get the Good Witch role. The class watches the movie and Greg decides to be a Tree, because they do not sing and they get to throw apples at Dorothy.

Greg gets the role for one of the Trees, and learns that he has exactly one word as his only line. He tries to get kicked out of the play, but is unsuccessful. He then learns that the play director, Mrs. Norton, has added extra scenes to the play, including one where the Trees sing. After one of the Trees trips and chips a tooth, arm holes are added to the Tree costumes. Greg first sees that Rodrick is attending the play, and when the Trees go on stage, Manny shouts "Bubby!" Greg is able to quickly pass the name off to one of the other Trees, Archie Kelly. When the Trees start singing, Greg stays quiet, and the other Trees follow. Patty then appears and glares at the Trees, and Greg throws an apple at her. The other Trees join in, and the play ends after her glasses break. Even though everyone else is angry, Greg is happy with how the play went.

Greg remembers that Christmas is coming up and wishes for a game called Twisted Wizard. He and his mother go to church and do the Giving Tree, with his mother deciding to gift a red wool sweater. On Christmas day, Manny receives more presents than anyone else, and Rodrick insultingly gifts Greg Best of L'il Cutie, which Greg deems "the worst comic in the newspaper." Greg is excited when Uncle Charlie shows up, hoping for Twisted Wizard, although he instead receives an 8 x 10 image of Uncle Charlie. He also gets a weight set from his father, although he is not interested due to the wrestling unit already ending. Greg's final present for the day is from his mother, which turns out to be a red wool sweater. She is confused and says she did buy Twisted Wizard, and must have mixed up the presents. Greg thinks that while his Christmas hasn't been going great, it must be even worse for the Giving Tree guy, who is unable to use his present due to not having a TV or a video game system. Greg goes to Rowley's house, regifting him the L'il Cutie book. Rowley gives Greg his Christmas present: a Big Wheel, which he considers lame.

On New Year's Eve, Greg gets in trouble when Manny accidentally swallows a thread (believing it to be a spider) while playing with him. Greg plays a game with Rowley where he tries to knock Rowley off the Big Wheel with a football. After writing his Christmas thank-you cards, he finally knocks Rowley off when the ball gets caught under the wheel. Rowley lands on his left arm and gets a cast, making him popular with girls at school. Greg tries to fake an injury for popularity, which does not work. Greg joins Independent Study at school, and their first assignment is to brainstorm a robot and what it looks like and does. They come up with a robot that repeats the owner's name, and write a list of swear words it should not be able to say. This list ends up cancelling Independent Study for the year.

Greg joins the Safety Patrols, wanting a position of authority, and invites Rowley as well. They are approved and enjoy being able to have free hot chocolate in the morning, with their only duty being to walk the kindergartners home. A few days later, when Greg notices snowfall, he and Rowley attempt to build the world's largest snowman. When the snow stops, they decide to roll it at the Whirley Street Kids when they arrive tomorrow. Greg sees Manny making a small snowman and kicks it over, causing his dad to get angry and destroy the snowball. When Rowley arrives, he and Greg are assaulted by the Whirley Street Kids.

When the school cartoonist job opens up, Greg is excited to replace Wacky Dawg, a strip that the writer had been using to handle his personal business. He teams up with Rowley and they do a cartoon, with the punchline to every strip being "Zoo-Wee Mama!" Greg gets tired of writing it and Rowley takes over, while Greg creates and submits Creighton the Cretin. It gets published, and when he gets the paper to see it, he notices that the comic has been "totally butchered," due to the joke being changed and the punchline being replaced with a plug for the school library.

Rowley is punished for "terrorizing" kindergartners and is suspended from being a Safety Patrols for a week. Greg remembers when he was wearing Rowley's coat and chasing the kindergartners with a worm on a stick, and someone caught him. He feels that he should confess, but does not want to lose his hot chocolate privileges. Greg's mother gives him advice to do the "right thing," which Greg decides is to let Rowley apologize and continue to be punished. He lets Rowley know what really happened after school, reports to his mother that he did the right thing, and gets rewarded with ice cream.

The next day, Greg is fired from being a safety patrol after an "anonymous source" (which Greg believes is Rowley) clears up the incident. Rowley is promoted and Greg learns that the Safety Patrols get to go to Six Flags and can bring one friend on the trip, so he tries to reconcile with Rowley. He then sees Rowley hanging out with Collin Lee and wants to make him jealous, so he has a sleepover with Fregley. Fregley eats Greg's jelly beans and chases him with a booger on his finger, then Greg blacks out and goes home hours later.

Greg looks through Rodrick's drawer and finds his old yearbook. This inspires him to try to get on the Class Favorites page of his own school's yearbook. He decides to go for Class Clown, but changes his mind when his mother volunteers as a substitute teacher. Greg looks in the school paper to see that he has been replaced by Rowley with Zoo-Wee Mama! which even the teachers enjoy. He ends up "fighting" Rowley after school, drawing a crowd that runs away when the teenagers from Halloween arrive. They make Rowley eat the Cheese, and Greg lies that he is allergic to dairy so he does not have to eat it.

Everybody notices that the Cheese is gone and wonders what happened. Greg lies that he picked it up and threw it away, meaning that he has the Cheese Touch. He ends up enjoying it due to getting out of the Square Dance unit and having the lunch table to himself. When the yearbooks are handed out, Greg sees that Rowley was voted Class Clown, and throws his yearbook in the trash, planning to remind Rowley that he ate the Cheese.

Errors

  • Greg is too tall on page 159.
  • Greg's waist is too high on page 152.
  • On page 70, Greg has no pirate hook and it does not come back for the rest of Halloween. On page 73, Greg's pirate hat disappears.
  • Greg says that he has kept the "Bubby" nickname secret for five years, although Manny is three years old.

Gallery

Illustrations

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese グレッグのダメ日記
Gureggu no dame nikki
Greg's Useless Diary
Spanish Un pringao total
French Carnet de bord de Greg Greg's Logbook
Dutch Het leven van een Loser The Life of a Loser
German Von Idioten umzingelt! Surrounded by Idiots!
Italian Diario di una schiappa Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Polish Dziennik Cwaniaczka Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Welsh Dyddiadur Dripsyn