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
Dark Purple (Spine: Alternating colors of Dark Purple and Sky Blue)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown is the 13th book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The book was released on October 30th, 2018.
- Frank Heffley
- Susan Heffley
- Rodrick Heffley
- Manny Heffley
- Rowley Jefferson
- Lower Surrey Street Kid (Main Antagonist)
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 Greg isn't because it's January and it doesn't feel right because it's the middle of winter. Greg then says about how the whole planet is warming up, and humans are to blame. But Greg 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's 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 only pretended to speak Maltese and not English, but after this, a kid in his grade has parents who are from MALTA. 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 on weekends as well as Rodrick and Manny. All brothers decide to misbehave in order to prove 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 an 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 you can't change from a part to the other as Trevor Nix is considered a traitor for moving to Lower Surrey Street.
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 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.
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 they don't know that Susan actually comes sometimes in order to do her laundry.
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.
Greg explains that the Safety Patrol is very strict and report 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, all students had to walk barefoot in the school.
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. 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, it FREEZES inside.
So, the students try to keep warm and use their creativity. The principal then decides to dismiss school early, much to the children's delight but since Rowley and Greg have to walk on their way home, instead of taking the bus, they decide to borrow the Whirley Street Kids bus. At first, they can sit in the bus without being discovered until an incident with a snowball prompts the bus driver to stop the bus and refuse to start it again until the tattletale admits they did it. Greg looks in the back of the bus, hearing some kids, however an eight-grader realizes he wasn't from Whirley Street and all the kids on the bus blame it on Greg, forcing him and Rowley to get off the bus.
A few Whirley Street kids start running after Greg and Rowley, due to the 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, which is where the Goat Man lives. Greg sees an light coming form an car, it was, but was actually coming from an broken car, Greg and Rowley then realize they're in the Mingo camp, after getting close to a car, Mr. Morsels 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 sees them and then brakes.
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. Since he isn't able to finish all of them before his parents return, his mother forces him to play on the snow and also calls Rowley's parents in order to prevent Greg from going to his house.
Without any option, Greg and Rowley build a fort which is quickly demolished. Frank gives them some advice, and both boys build an another fort but discover that almost every kid had the SAME idea. Now, they have to fight against the Lower Surrey Street Kids due to them sliding on their hill, but after a while, they're not ready to surrender and decide to refuel. Even Trevor Nix betrays the Upper Surrey Street Kids in order to possibly get accepted by the Lower Surrey Street Kids. After being double-crossed by Trevor, the Upper Surrey Street Kids snow fort gets demolished.
Then they hear The Safety Patrol who came there for revenge, resulting in the battle turning into the Surrey Street Kids 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 sound, but Greg and Rowley knew it was 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. 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. And are worried that they won't survive. Then the ground shakes, but it turns out to be the snowplow drive, plowing all the snow and ends 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. Trevor Nix gets accepted in Lower Surrey Street. 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 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 second purple book, the first being The Ugly Truth.
- 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 second book where the words "of a Wimpy Kid" are in purple. The first is Old School.
- 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 first book since Dog Days to be released in October.
- 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.
- 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.
- This is the sixth book to have two months each, books like Old School, Cabin Fever and The Third Wheel.
- At page 181, Joseph O'Rourke is a full name as "Joe O'Rourke." However, it is possible that Greg just shortened his name.
- Sweetie is shown to be not overweight, despite him being overweight in past books due to being fed too much by Gramma. 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.