This article contains major plot spoilers! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
|Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown|
Abram Books (Amulet Books)
October 30th, 2018
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball (chronologically)
Dark Purple Gradient (Spine: Alternating colors of Dark Purple and Sky Blue)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown is the thirteenth book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The book was released October 30th, 2018.
When the schools get shut down because of a snowy day, the neighborhood transforms into a wintry battlefield. Some rival groups fight over territory, Some rival groups build massive snow forts, and some rival groups stage epic snowball fights. In the cross-hairs are Greg Heffley and his trusty-true to the end-best friend, Rowley Jefferson.
It's a fight for survival as Greg and Rowley navigate against alliances, betrayals, and warring gangs in a neighborhood meltdown. When the snow clears, will Greg and Rowley emerge as heroes? Or will they even survive to see another day? 
The story starts off by Greg saying how everybody is outside enjoying the warm weather, but he isn't because it's January and it doesn't feel right because it's the middle of winter. Greg then says that the whole planet is warming up, and humans are to blame. However, as he says that he shouldn't be to blame, as he only recently got onto planet earth (being born). He then says about he hopes that it doesn't warm up too fast, or he would have to ride a camel to school. He then says he heard that the ice caps are melting and the seas is rising and he was trying to convince his parents to buy a house higher up on their hill so that they can avoid the water for longer, but his parents aren't too concerned. It makes Greg nervous that he is the only person in his family worried about it, and if they didn't do something about it now they would wish they did. The seas rising isn't the only thing that is making Greg nervous, as there could be things in the ice caps, and since they are melting they could be free. Greg then says that he saw a movie about a caveman that got frozen in ice, and thousands of years later when it melted he was still alive. Greg didn't know if that could happen in real life, but if it could he says that if it could his night time janitor could be one.
Greg has to participate with his school on International Showcase Week. Back in November, when there was an International Showcase, he wanted the country to be assigned Italy but unfortunately too many people wanted to study Italy. After a random draw by his teacher, it was given to Dennis Tracton. So he was forced to make a project about Malta. However, he forgot all about it and has now to make it for the following day. Since Rowley refused to switch with him, Greg says that he was on his own and hoped his project will be fine.
In order to push kids asking questions away, he pretended to only speak Maltese and not English (accidentally speaking Spanish instead), but after this, a kid in his grade has parents who are from Malta and they take offence to Greg's misrepresentation of their country. Fortunately for him, the huge fight between Brazil and Bulgaria flared up again, and the bell rings dismissing school.
However, the situation worsens when Susan receives a letter that Greg has to make his project again. Plus, she forbids him for screens until his work is finished. Greg predicts this to be just before the weekends, but he says that it won't matter because Susan forbids him from screens on the weekends as well as Rodrick and Manny. All brothers decide to misbehave on the weekends in order to prove to her that "Screen-Free Weekends" aren't working.
Greg also says that his mom says that she wants him to make some new friends. But with the exception of Rowley, he has no chance to befriend another child. Sometimes, he even has to walk in front of Fregley's house which is between his and Rowley's and it's difficult for him.
Greg then explains that the other kids in his street aren't good people for him to befriend, but the worst are the ones who live in Lower Surrey Street because their street part is flat and Greg lives in Upper Street. The two parts can't stand one another and, if one's family moves to a different part of the town, that person will be stuck inside all year round, since their new neighbors will still consider them part of the other team and his original team will think of them as a traitor for moving and not let them participate in their activities.
Greg talks about the pig which was left at a kennel during their Christmas vacation, and when it gets mad about not going with them, Frank sends it to obedience school, but the person who runs the places calls him telling him the pig escaped. Greg's family puts up posters to find it.
Greg wonders if a human being or a pig can hibernate, but Greg tells that he knows about The Mingos, who live in the woods don't show up in the winter until spring. Greg says so if they're NOT hibernating all winter, who knows what they're doing.
Greg talks about the Safety Patrols as he enjoyed it since it gave him access to hot chocolate. But he got kicked out of Safety Patrols, so he can't have any. Ever since that, he has been filling a thermos with hot chocolate.
He also tells how about dirty his neighbors are. When he is sick, he receives some cherry lozenges for his throat which makes him popular for girls. However, the boys break into his locker to steal them for themselves.
Because of the cold, Greg and Rowley try to find a place where they could warm up. They finally manage to hide at Gramma's place while she is on vacation, but while they are drying their clothes off, they hear someone coming down into the basement and they arm themselves thinking it's a burglar, but they end up almost attacking Greg's mother with a toilet plunger and a handbag.
To Greg's surprise, Susan isn't mad at him at all, even congratulating him for "using his imagination" rather than screens. Greg wishes she'd grounded him instead, not knowing what she thought they were doing.
Greg explains that the Safety Patrol is very strict on boys and reports anyone who dares to throw a snowball during a school day. They also allow girls to walk on the road but don't allow boys to do it.
Greg says that he has no qualms about snitching and also that due to the snow, students were tracking water into the school, resulting in their shoes being held in the headmaster's office. After a few kids started a fight with their wet socks, the teachers started ordering the kids to go barefoot, not improving the situation.
The next day, Greg tries vainly to invent a new way to walk in the snow with pizza boxes with his shoes duct-taped to them after trying to warm up his winter boots, which end up melting into the bricks of the fireplace, but his idea fails as he leaves leftover pizza in the boxes, almost getting mauled by neighborhood dogs. He also discovers that the janitor couldn't stand the sock smell and open the windows to let some fresh air in, but forgot to close the windows at the end of his shift, and now, temperatures drop below freezing.
So, the students try to keep warm and use their creativity, with one person using a costume of a lion that was made for the school play. The principal then decides to dismiss school early after kids start eating food crazy and bugs from the science fair thinking that they were going to be snowed in overnight. Since Rowley and Greg have to walk on their way home, they decide to borrow the Whirley Street Kids bus. At first, they sit in there without being discovered until someone at the back throws a snowball and almost crashes the bus. This prompts the bus driver to stop the bus and refuse to start it again until the perpetrator admits they did it, going as far as to read a book for a solid hour. Greg looks in the back of the bus, hearing some kids whispering, however an eight-grader realizes he isn't from Whirley Street and all the kids on the bus snitch it on Greg, with the bus driver forcing him and Rowley to get off at once.
A few Whirley Street kids start running after Greg and Rowley, having believed the other kids on the bus lying about him throwing the snowball. They then decide to run from them, leading them into the woods.
Greg and Rowley are forced to run in the woods, where a mythical creature known as the "Goat man" exists. Greg sees a light coming from a broken car, but him and Rowley then realize they're in the Mingo camp as Greg finds Meckley Mingo's belt buckle. after getting close to a car, the hand puppet that Greg wears in place of a glove gets stuck on the door handle of the car, resulting in Greg abandoning him. He and Rowley then dash out of the woods, where Frank almost runs them over.
The next day, Greg has the house for himself since Manny is at nursery, Rodrick sleeps and his parents are gone. But little does he know is Susan planned some chores for him by hiding the batteries in the TV remote around the house. He is unable to finish all of them after a group of girls try and extort money out of him in exchange for clearing his driveway, resulting in his parents telling him off until 8 o'clock, at which point, Rodrick wakes up to start his day.
The next day, Susan insists that Greg spends the whole weekend out in the snow to play like in the old days, even calling Rowley's father and advising him to do the same to prevent him from hiding in there. Without any option, Greg and Rowley build an igloo which is quickly demolished by the neighboring kids. Frank tells them that the neighborhood kids have declared war and Greg and Rowley must fight back to reclaim their territory, so both boys build another fort but discover that almost every kid in town was inspired by their idea. After the Lower Street Kids are caught sledging down their hill, they all team up and build a double-layered wall across the road to stop them. After a raging battle, the lower kids send Trevor Nix over to split the hill kids up with decoys. After being double-crossed by Trevor, the Upper Surrey Street Kids snow wall gets demolished.
Then they hear The Safety Patrol who came for revenge after being pelted with snowballs during the weekends,, resulting in the battle turning into the Surrey Street Kids on both ends versus the Safety Patrols, but some girls on Surrey Street switch sides which makes it confusing. The Whirley Street Kids slide on the hill and join the battle. Then all the kids hear a horn going off, with Greg and Rowley realising that it is the Mingo kids, looking like they woke up from a three-month nap. Greg realizes that he had Meckley's buckle in his pocket without realizing it, possibly revealing that Meckley Mingo, who has Greg's hand puppet from earlier speared on a pole, is after him. Since the kids hate the Mingo kids than everyone else, they turn to fight them. Greg decides he has had enough, and he and Rowley hide, worried that they won't survive. Then the ground shakes, but it turns out to be the snowplow driver, plowing all the snow and ending the battle.
After the battle, Greg can't remember what they started fighting over in the first place, and the weather warms up a lot. There is still snow on the ground, so Mitchell Pickett uses a snowmobile he spent with all the money he made selling snow supplies. Trevor Nix gets accepted in Lower Surrey Street for his role in demolishing the Upper Surrey Street kid's snow wall.. Greg just hopes that everyone will be grateful at him if he can make a good strategy which could allow human people to live with robots. Greg says he's glad that there are people like the hero type out there, but the world needs guys like him too. Greg says because if human beings are still around 500 million years from now, it's gonna be thanks to the Greg Heffley's of the world who figured out a way to survive.
- When announced, Jeff Kinney confirms that he will write three more books afterwards. If you count Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, then the 15th book may be the last.
- When Greg talks about their Christmas vacation, on page 39, he is referring to their trip to Isla de Corales in The Getaway.
- This is the third book to not have the word "Diary" in yellow. The first two books are Dog Days and Hard Luck.
- However, this is the first odd-numbered book to not have the word "Diary" in yellow.
- This is the first book to use two different shades of one color. On the top half of the book, it is colored Blue-ish Dark Purple. While on the bottom half of the book, it is colored Red-ish Dark Purple.
- However, the overall color of the book is still Dark Purple, anyway.
- This is the first time the subtitle is 3D.
- This is the third time the spine uses these following two colors and they are: Dark Purple and True Blue. The other two books are Double Down which uses these following two colors: Red-Orange and Yellow and The Getaway which uses these following two colors: Azure and Apple Green.
- Ironically, the those books are in chronological order.
- This is the fourth book to include a reptile-skin design.
- This is also the third book to include the new Amulet logo.
- This is the sixth book to feature Greg's trademark frown. The others were: Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, Dog Days, The Ugly Truth, Old School, and The Getaway.
- This is the third book to have a resemblance to the story on the cover, after Dog Days. As purple and blue are "cool colours".
- In the UK variant of The Meltdown, the 13 on its spine is replaced with its picture for the front cover. (Greg as a snowman.)
- This is the sixth book to take place in winter. The first five books are Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Rodrick Rules, The Third Wheel, Cabin Fever, and The Getaway.
- This book marks the second time the Safety Patrol are seen. The organization hasn't been seen or mentioned since the first book.
- It's still unknown why Rowley was kicked.
- This is the third time Greg screwed up a project without research.
- Fregley returns in this book. He hasn't appeared since Hard Luck.
- On page 164, Rowley and Greg come up with a name for their clan. Rowley suggests "Hufflepuff" which is a reference to the Harry Potter Hogwarts house, but Greg says he wants a more original name.
- Flat Stanley is mentioned on page 141. Greg says that he wants a TV on his ceiling, but he wants it installed by someone who knows what they're doing so he won't be "the next Flat Stanley."
- This also the second time Flat Stanley is mentioned. The first was from The Long Haul.
- This is one of few books in which Rodrick and Manny have much shorter roles and the second book after The Third Wheel in which except from flashbacks, Rodrick does not bully Greg.
- Greg mentions on page 215 that the pig is probably "somewhere warm by now, having the time of his life." This probably means the pig will probably not return in Book 14, but it is unknown yet.
- 802 words are written in all-capital letters in this book.
- This is the first book in the series to have 2 pages with no words and only drawings on them.
- Fregley's line, "Betcha I can find your 'tickle spot!'" was first used on his section in The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book.
- This is the first book to not have a specific main antagonist. She only appeared on one page.
- This is the sixth book to have two months each, books like Old School, Cabin Fever and The Third Wheel.
- A cameo on Page 57: the kid on the left where a girl was doing a robot pose is doing the dab, which does seem to surprise a lot of people despite this book taking place in early 2014, as the Dab started around 2017-2018
- Holly Hills appears on one page, where she can be seen hitting someone in the face with a wet sock.
- This is the first and so far only time all three Heffley brothers agree on something. (their dislike of Screen-Free Weekends)
- At page 181, Joseph O'Rourke is a full name as "Joe O'Rourke." However, it is possible that Greg just shortened his name.
- On page nine, Greg says "Speaking of survival." but in the sneak peek, it says "Speaking of unusually hot weather"
- This could've been a change, and also mean that Kinney was trying to drag in a continuity reference from The Getaway.
- Sweetie is shown to be not overweight, despite him being overweight in past books due to being fed too much by Gramma, as shown in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck. However it is possible he probably lost weight and got normal again.
- On the page where the kids are all in the snowball fight, Latricia Hooks has a different look.
- State Order Fail: On page 16, after Malta is supposed to be the Marshall Islands, instead, after Malta is Mauritania.
- However, Greg doesn't know this, he did mention he was just assuming.
- There is a kid all the way in the back on page 122 with a black jacket, however, in the next page he is wearing a white jacket.
- When Greg talks about last year, he wants to go to school fast by using a sled and dogs to his mom and dad, Greg is much shorter.