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The Essential Book for Young Lads

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The Essential Book For Young Lads is a book that appeared in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School. This was a book that contained info on how to do stuff. It was passed down from Chester '"Remus" Heffley to Grandpa to Frank Heffley and then to Greg Heffley from Grandpa

Grandpa gave Greg this book while packing up items for his trip to Hardscrabble Farms. Greg said that the book was outdated, but he did not want to hurt his Grandpa's feelings, so he decided to take the book with him during the camp. When Greg found out that the other group had raided his cabin to find Graham's snacks, used his baby wipes to clean up and tried to flush it in the toilet, causing it to clog, he flipped through the pages and realized that the guys who had raided his cabin might have done them a huge favor. Greg found there was a whole lot of information he considered useless, like how to make a Potato Radio out of household objects, and a lot of good information on surviving wilderness, like how to identify poison ivy. The book also had a chapter on other outdoorsy things, like how to start a fire without matches. When Greg decided to try out some of the tricks from the book to see if this tricks worked, he led his group out to their campsite and asked to borrow Emilio Mendoza's glasses and focused a beam of sunlight onto a dry leaf which it was said to do in the book. Eventually, the leaf started smoking and caught fire. Greg and his group were so excited that this trick worked because they could make a fire without a help of an adult. But Greg and his group were a little carried away because Greg forgot to return Emilio's glasses which he was still holding, he hi-fived his cabin mate named Jeffrey Swanson, breaking Emilio's glasses in the process which makes Emilio as blind as a bat without his glasses and smack right into the tree, making him a little challenging for the rest of the trip. But when Greg and his cabin mates were getting ready to raid the girls' cabin to get deodorant, Mr. Nuzzi came into his cabin to check on them. He was obviously convinced that Greg and his cabin mates were up to no good, as he left and came back with baby powder to sprinkle in a big circle around his cabin so that if they leave, their footprints will give them away. Greg and his cabin mates were in panic that they will be trapped in their cabin for the rest of the night. But Greg remembered that a chapter from The Essential Book For Young Lads is called Hiding Your Numbers that could help, in which the ancient ninjas fool their enemies by hiding the number of footprints through stepping in the same footprints in a group and ambush pursers. Mr. Nuzzi had left his footprints in the baby powder as he spread it around. So Greg and his cabin mates will have to follow his footprints so that he never know they left. But Mr. Nuzzi's footprints are bigger than Greg and his cabin mates' which is their problem. But luckily, Greg spots Mr. Jefferson's hiking boots he left under the bed, their perfect match. So Greg went first. He carefully stepped into Mr. Nuzzi's footprints which was a little hard but he made it out of the baby powder footprints. On page 204, Greg and his cabin mates set up a shelter without Greg's Dad. Luckily, there was a chapter on how to build a waterproof lean-to shelter which they didn't need Greg's Dad to help. Eventually, the book was burned as firewood since Greg's group were getting desperate.

Known Activities[edit]

  • Potato Radio How to guide
  • Hiding Your Numbers
  • Waterproof lean-to shelter (Mentioned)
  • Fire starting technique (Mentioned)
  • Recognizing poison ivy (Unseen, mentioned)


  • Greg used the book to instruct his cabin mates at Hardscrabble Farms to build a waterproof lean-to shelter. The page that Greg got the instructions for the shelter from are never shown.
  • The book was burnt by Greg’s group as firewood when they got desperate.
  • Greg did not use the page on how to identify poison ivy (a page that is mentioned only) to stop Rowley or Rowley's dad, Robert from touching or being near poison ivy, due to it being the day after they got sent home.