An instant bestseller with more than a dozen books in the series, here is how you can read all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books in order.
Jeff Kinney’s series chronicles the trials and tribulations that come with starting middle school through written word and comic strips. Use this list to make sure you’ve read all the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books before starting the newest book, Big Shot, published on October 26, 2021.
It might be daunting to begin such a long-standing series, but each book is slim with around 200 pages.
As well, with its relatable content about traversing middle school, reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books in order guarantees an enjoyable and fast-paced read.
Who is Author Jeff Kinney?
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books have appeared on best sellers’ lists since its initial publication in 2007, but the idea for this series started long before that for Jeff Kinney.
The idea of a boy entering middle school and confronted with a whole host of challenges first blossomed in 1998. Kinney was unable to get syndication for his comic strip, but he knew he wanted to pursue his passion for illustration. Thus, the story of Greg Heffley began.
Kinney wrote down ideas for years before publishing the first iteration of Diary of a Wimpy Kid online in 2004. He uploaded daily to Funbrain.com telling the story of Greg Heffley.
The online version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid remains popular to this day. It has more than 80 million total visits and averages more than 70,000 readers each day.
Greg’s story eventually moved from the digital world into print and became a bestseller. It has remained on the New York Times best seller lists since its first publication. There are more than 250 million copies of the series in print worldwide. As well, the books are available in 76 editions and 64 languages.
With this popular series Kinney has won the Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Book six times.
After graduating from the University of Maryland, Kinney now lives in Massachusetts where he owns a bookstore: An Unlikely Story.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
The popular middle grade comedic series documents the life of Greg Heffley as he starts middle school. Written in the form of a diary with illustrations throughout, Diary of a Wimpy Kid depicts the struggles of starting in a new school, and then finding oneself at the bottom of the ladder.
In addition to navigating his new school corridors, Greg confides in his diary as the challenges of middle school test the strength of his friendship with his best friend, Rowley.
The series grows with Greg with each new challenge that middle school, friendship, sibling rivalry, and summer vacation presents.
The popular book series has also inspired a film franchise with four theatrical releases, and a new animated counterpart will premiere on Disney+ in December 2021.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Books in Order of Publication
Here is a list of all the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books in order of publication. Conveniently, and unsurprisingly with a diary format, this list is also of the books in order chronologically!
Every book is a self-contained story and can be read as a standalone; however, the best way to enjoy the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books in order is the publication order.
- 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)
- Diper Överlöde (2022)
- No Brainer (Expected: October 24, 2023)
The Best Way to Read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Books in Order
As these books are told through Greg’s diary, each book builds upon the previous one with its setting and characters. While each book can be read as a standalone, I would recommend starting at the beginning with the first book.
Starting with Diary of a Wimpy Kid will introduce you fully to the characters. It will let you understand the format and allow you to accompany Greg as he begins middle school, including all the ups and downs that come with it.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Film Adaptions
In addition to winning awards and selling millions of copies, Diary of a Wimpy Kid has inspired multiple films with a new release coming soon.
The first movie, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, premiered in 2010. It is based on the first book of the same name. The next installment, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, followed swiftly with a 2011 release. It is based on the second book, Rodrick Rules.
A third movie premiered the following year in 2012, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. The third movie is based on The Last Straw and Dog Days, book three and book four respectively.
These three live-action and animated comedy films star Zachary Gordon as Greg Heffley, Robert Capron as his best friend Rowley, and Devon Bostick as Greg’s older brother Rodrick.
With five years between the release of the third and fourth movie, it might be no surprise that when Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul premiered in 2017 it brought with it a massive cast change up and mixed reaction.
Adapted from the ninth and tenth book, The Long Haul and Old School, this installment stars Jason Drucker as Greg Heffley, Owen Asztalos as his best friend Rowley, and Charlie Wright as Greg’s older brother Rodrick. Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott also replace Rachael Harris and Steve Zahn as Greg and Rodrick’s parents.
New Disney+ Animated Film Forthcoming
With another pause between installments and a shift from theatrical releases, the newest Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie in this film franchise is set to premiere on Disney+.
An animated film, titled Diary of a Wimpy Kid, is scheduled to be released on Disney+ on December 3, 2021. As the title suggests, this movie is based off the first book and it will go back to the beginning of Greg’s story as he starts middle school.
A Summary of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Books in Order
Whether you’re new to this series or looking for a refresh before beginning the sixteenth book, here’s a brief summary of the first 10 Diary of a Wimpy Kid books in order. Each book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series will have you laughing out loud with this relatable approach to a period of great change in every kid’s life.
1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Diary of a Wimpy Kid introduces us to Greg Heffley as he starts a new year and a new school. He’s at a disadvantage being a smaller kid sharing the middle school corridors with those who are taller and meaner.
Desperate to prove himself in a way that only time can bring, Greg luckily has his best friend Rowley by his side. Until Rowley starts to become popular himself, which Greg tries to use to his own advantage. What follows is a record of the hilarious antics that ensue as their friendship is tested amid the stress of middle school.
2. Rodrick Rules
The antics continue in this much anticipated sequel to Greg Heffley’s middle school plights. This time Greg has a secret he is desperate to keep hidden. As he starts a new school year, no one needs to know how he spent his summer vacation.
But Greg’s older brother Rodrick knows all about the mysterious incident and secrets have a way of getting out… Greg desperately tries to keep his secret safe while navigating middle school, impressing girls, and steering clear of the school talent show in this second installment of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
3. The Last Straw
Amidst the challenges and changes of middle school there is one constant for Greg Heffley: His wimpy ways. Except Greg’s father, Frank Heffley, believes he can change his son and toughen him up.
He puts Greg in multiple endeavors in this attempt, such as organized sports, that Greg is able to easily evade. Until Greg’s dad threatens to send him to a military academy and Greg realizes that he has to shape up fast.
4. Dog Days
The best days of middle school have arrived: Summer vacation. Greg Heffley is content to spend his summer doing what he loves best. That includes playing video games with the shades drawn as he enjoys the bliss of no responsibilities and no rules.
But Greg’s mom is intent that the family will spend the summer together with outdoor activities and bonding. The battle begins between their two visions of a perfect summer, and a new addition to the Heffley family might just change everything.
5. The Ugly Truth
The chronicles of Greg Heffley continue in this fifth installment, but things have hit a snag. Greg realizes that growing up might not be all that it’s cracked up to be. As Greg deals with the pressure of boy-girl parties, more responsibilities, and the awkward changes that come with getting older, he wonders why he was in such a hurry to grow up.
To make matters worse, Greg must go through it all without his best friend Rowley at his side. Leaving Greg wondering if he can make it through this challenge on his own.
6. Cabin Fever
The stakes in Diary of a Wimpy Kid heighten as Greg Heffley finds himself in big trouble. School property has been damaged, and Greg is the prime suspect. But he’s innocent…at least mostly.
A surprise blizzard thwarts the authorities from closing in on him, but leaves Greg in an arguably worse situation. He’s not looking forward to facing reality, but neither is he looking forward to being stuck inside with his family for the holidays.
7. The Third Wheel
Cupid’s arrow comes into play in the seventh Diary of a Wimpy Kid book with the Valentine’s Day dance coming up. Greg Heffley’s worried he won’t be able to find a date in time for the dance. It’s no consolation that his best friend Rowley might not have a date either.
But in the end, Greg does find a partner for the dance and it’s Rowley who is left out in the cold. Matters of the heart, however, are rarely straight-forward, and who knows how this all will end.
8. Hard Luck
Greg Heffley’s life doesn’t get any easier in the eighth book of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Hard Luck depicts Greg trying to make new friends in middle school after his best friend, Rowley Jefferson, ditches him.
Stumped by this difficult challenge, Greg decides to cast his decisions by chance. He hopes that with a roll of the dice he can change his fate and his luck will improve.
9. The Long Haul
The ninth Diary of a Wimpy Kid book has Greg Heffley spending quality with his family, yet again. But Greg’s family road trip doesn’t go quite as planned. What started as a fun time quickly nosedives.
The road trip becomes memorable with gas station bathrooms, crazed seagulls, a fender bender, and a runaway pig. Thankfully, even the worst moments can turn into an adventure that the Heffley’s won’t soon forget.
10. Old School
The tenth book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series shows that throwing it back might not be as fun as it seems. Greg Heffley’s town voluntarily goes electronics-free, and Greg is left wondering if life really was better in the old days.
Cut off from the conveniences of modern life, Greg realizes that he’s not made for an old-fashioned world. Tensions build inside the Heffley home and across town as Greg struggles to survive the challenges of going “old school.”
Looking for more books in order?
Check out this list of the Harry Potter books in order.