Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Wrecking Ball cover.png
Number 14
Release date November 5th, 2019
Author Jeff Kinney
Illustrator Jeff Kinney
Preceded by Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown
Succeeded by Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball is the 14th book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. It was released on November 5th, 2019. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball succeeds Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown and precedes Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End.


"In 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.

Once the walls come down, all sorts of problems start to crop up. Rotten wood, toxic mold, unwelcome critters, and something even more sinister all make Greg and his family wonder if the renovations are worth the trouble. When the dust finally settles, will the Heffleys be able to stay . . . or will they need to get out of town?"[1]


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball was indirectly announced in January 2019, and was officially confirmed on Amazon on February 20, 2019. Its title and cover were revealed on May 14, 2019.

At an event to promote Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown titled "The Meltdown Show," Kinney said that he "just came up with" the title of the next book and that it starts with the letters W and R.[2]

Wrecking Ball's construction theme came from Jeff Kinney himself doing repairs at home and the construction of his bookstore, An Unlikely Story.[3][4] Additionally, he noticed that he had not yet written a story about Greg moving: "Moving is such a common experience for kids that I realized that I’d really missed an opportunity."[3] He described the scene with "a hot tub is lifted over the house with a crane" as being "based on the truth."[4]

Kinney struggled with thinking of how to begin the book. "I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to open this book. And I eventually settled on the yard sale, because I thought it was…well, the overall theme of the book is Greg letting go of his childhood home, and I thought it would be neat to have the book open with Greg letting go of his childhood possessions. And that opening actually follows the arc of the whole book. So the whole book is basically right there in the opening twenty pages."[4] He continued that "each Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, the better ones, starts off with a complete comedic vignette,"[4] and that he could not assume that the reader had read previous Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, "[s]o I have to try and grab the reader, and make sure that I keep them."[4]

To get ideas for the book, Jeff Kinney used a system called Systematic Inventive Thinking.[5] "In it, problem-solving is based on templates. If you can use those templates to harness your creativity, then you can solve problems more quickly than you could another way."[5]

Kinney considers Wrecking Ball to be "[his] best-written book" and "like[s] it a lot,"[4] finding ideas such as The Grout to be original.[3]


The picture that Rowley draws in wet cement is done in the same art style as Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal.

Cultural references

  • Greg recalls reading a book where a group of kids discover a hidden world in the back of their closet. This is a reference to the children's novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball.

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Arrasa Con Todo Raze With Everything
German Voll Daneben! Completely Wrong!
Portuguese Quebra Tudo Break Everything


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