Jeff Kinney began writing his most famous work, the series Diary of a Wimpy Kid, back in 2004 (online), before it was published in 2007. The series’ protagonist is a schoolboy named Greg Heffley, who writes about his life and daily struggles in the form of an illustrated diary, or journal. The franchise has been adapted in movie form, as well as in the form of a musical, but the core of the series are the books.
In this article, we are going to give you the ultimate reading order of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. The article is going to be divided into several sections. We are going to answer some questions for you, as well as give you the ultimate chronological reading guide of Kinney’s books. Greg Heffley is one of the most popular characters of modern-day American culture, and he certainly deserves an article dedicated to his (mis)adventures.
How Many Diary of a Wimpy Kid Books Are There?
Diary of a Wimpy Kid was first published in 2007. Since then, a total of 16 books have been published. They are:
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2007)
- Rodrick Rules (2008)
- The Last Straw (2009)
- Dog Days (2009)
- The Ugly Truth (2010)
- Cabin Fever (2011)
- The Third Wheel (2012)
- Hard Luck (2013)
- The Long Haul (2014)
- Old School (2015)
- Double Down (2016)
- The Getaway (2017)
- The Meltdown (2018)
- Wrecking Ball (2019)
- The Deep End (2020)
- Big Shot (2021)
As far as the books are concerned, this is the whole series. You can also check our guide on the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies if you want to see the adaptations.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Books in Order
In this section, we are going to order the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books in the way that we think they should be read. Since they’re mostly standalone episodes from Greg’s life, luckily for you, the reading order is the same as the publication order, so you won’t have too much trouble finding your way around the pages.
1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2007)
Greg is 12 years old, an older brother who is a musician who makes jokes to him, a little brother who sticks to him, a friend he supports so as not to be alone, problems with girls who giggle all day long, parents who never understand anything he asks… One day, his mother gives him a diary, which Greg renames as a journal.
2. Rodrick Rules (2008)
For Greg, back to school is almost good news because his vacation has been so horrible. Above all, there is one event that he would rather forget. But Rodrick, his older brother, knows everything … and hopes to blackmail him!
3. The Last Straw (2009)
Mr. Heffley is convinced that he can make his deflated son a real man. Greg, therefore, finds himself enrolled in manly activities: football, scouts. So when his father threatens to send him to a military camp for the summer vacation, Greg realizes that he has every interest in walking straight, otherwise he risks marching in step!
4. Dog Days (2009)
Summer vacation is here and everyone is having a blast outside. But where is Greg Heffley? At home, the curtains drawn, in front of his video game console. Greg, a self-proclaimed “homebody”, wants to have the perfect summer: no responsibilities, no rules. But for her mother, the perfect summer should be lived with family and outdoors. Which of the two will win? Unless a new member of the Heffley tribe steps in?
5. The Ugly Truth (2010)
Greg is confronted with the gaze of girls and the teasing of boys, with new responsibilities and the inevitable changes that come with the ungrateful age. And all without his best friend, Robert, by his side! Will he manage to get out of it? Or will he have to face the “horrible truth” that affects all boys his age?
6. Cabin Fever (2011)
Greg is bored. He must change his behavior otherwise he will not have a Christmas present. He envies some of his friends who do not celebrate this holiday and do not know these torments. Susan also bought a particularly terrifying toy.
Greg invites Robert over to his house and they argue over the spelling of a sport, badminton (volleyball in the original version). But Greg manages to come to terms with him. The next day, a Sunday, Robert, who is an atheist, goes to church with the Heffleys, but Susan and Greg are embarrassed by his presence.
7. The Third Wheel (2012)
Greg begins by talking about his childhood and the difficulties he had in learning. His mother did not seem to reproduce the same mistakes with his brother Manu. One evening, when Susan wants to start a family night, Uncle Gary rings the doorbell.
He started a t-shirt business some time ago, but it didn’t work. So he leaves to live with his brother Frank’s family, but he quickly annoys everyone. In college, Greg learns that there will be a ball this year. Fortunately for him, he avoids being in a relationship with Ruby Loiseau, a wild girl who finds in Freddy an ideal partner.
But the other three boys who are without a date must then team up together. Greg also suggests that Robert be on the board, but another student is elected.
8. Hard Luck (2013)
Greg explains that since Robert and Abigail are in a relationship he has to be alone most of the time, which he doesn’t like, and Susan tries to give him popularity advice, which doesn’t really work. In college, a friendship scheme is set up but it does not seem to fascinate Greg either. He, therefore, tries to make a new friend in the person of Freddy, which will not really turn out as he expected.
Easter and Spring Break are approaching and Greg talks about all of his mother’s sisters, who have diametrically opposed personalities. In addition, the party will take place at Greg’s grandmother’s house, which he does not approve of.
9. The Long Haul (2014)
The whole book takes place during the month of June. While Greg and his brothers watch television peacefully, their mother Susan comes to see them. She has a surprise for them, they all go on a trip with their parents.
Greg points out that he once thought he was visiting an aunt on their way to Disneyland, which annoyed Manu so much that the second trip had to be postponed. The car ride starts off badly between Manu cheating on a game, cassettes that are broadcast in Spanish and even a kind of toy that Greg had created a long time ago but which now scares him a bit.
In order not to wake Manu up, Susan sends Rodrick to buy something to eat, but he only returns with sweet wafers and mint lozenges and they dine in a seedy motel. The next morning, Rodrick and Greg want to go swimming, but the water being cut, they return to their room where Greg tries to sleep as best he can.
The two brothers also cross the path of a family that Greg nicknamed “The Hairy Family” and which will pose a lot of problems for them.
10. Old School (2015)
Greg explains that his parents are quite nostalgic for the old days, and used to know each other. His mother Susan would like to start a petition, which could force people to go without electricity for two days. But Greg and Rodrick always pretend they don’t know her when she does that. Greg also evokes the childhood of his father Frank who played outside with his friends. In addition, the pig learns to walk.
11. Double Down (2016)
With the departure of Greg is also added an unintentional disaster during the concert. Frank punishes him. Greg then has the idea of making a film with his friend Robert, which will be horrific. Unfortunately, they use the tape of Manu’s first steps and Susan notices it. Greg gets away with doing chores as Robert becomes a celebrity in spite of himself.
12. The Getaway (2017)
The whole story takes place in December. Susan and Frank see an advertisement extolling the merits of a trip to the tropics in the middle of winter. As they had already been to the place mentioned a few years ago, they decide that they will go there for the holidays, with Greg and his brothers.
Greg is the only one who does not really enjoy the trip, especially since it starts off badly with Greg who initially thinks he is alone in his row in economy class before a family disrupts the flight. Frank, thanks to his profession, can enjoy the first class.
13. The Meltdown (2018)
Greg is the only one who doesn’t take advantage of the exceptionally warm winter weather. He explains that humans are partially at fault for global warming. Greg has a geographic project to surrender and he has to represent Malta, but he does it so badly that he only gets away with a conflict between two countries. He has to start his project over again, despite this. Plus, Susan has decided to confiscate the screens every weekend.
14. Wrecking Ball (2019)
Greg and Susan organize a flea market. Greg asks Robert to do him a favor, but he doesn’t seem to fully understand the mission. Reba, Greg’s great aunt, is dead. The family goes to the wrong funeral.
At dinner, chatting with his family about how they will spend their inheritance, Greg suggests that everyone could have their own space. Rodrick wants to buy a bus, Manu some chocolates, and Frank wants to make his Civil War diorama bigger. Susan also reads the adventures of a platypus called Oscar to Manu.
Greg wants to exchange his house with Robert, but Robert cannot. Work is going to be organized at the Heffleys but Frank does not quite agree with the way in which Greg learns his lessons. In addition, Frank wants to empower his sons.
15. The Deep End (2020)
The whole story takes place during the month of August. Due to the damage to their home, the Heffleys reside with Greg’s maternal grandmother. Living together in one and the same room quickly gets on their nerves. Fortunately, they have the opportunity to go on a trip thanks to Gary’s camper van which they have to clean.
After having bought something to equip themselves, the Heffleys therefore go camping. Their stay at the beginning is rather disastrous until they land in a public square. After trying to isolate himself, Greg ends up getting closer to the other children, including one who appears to be the boss.
16. Big Shot (2021)
Greg’s school is having a sort of sports day. Previously, Greg wants to win his class at all costs and asks Frank, his father, to be able to work out at the gym with him. But He seriously misunderstands how the devices work.
The sports day finally took place but against all expectations, it was the ladies in the canteen who won the grand prize, namely a free day. In the interests of fairness, the vice-principal then declares the day off for everyone.