|Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball|
The book's official cover.
Abram Books (Amulet Books) (US), Penguin Books (Puffin Books) (UK)
November 5, 2019
224 (217 reading pages)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown (chronologically)
Gray, Brick Texture, Orange
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball is the 14th book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. It was first released on November 5, 2019. It was indirectly announced in January 2019and was directly confirmed by Amazon on February 20, 2019. Its title and cover were officially revealed on May 14, 2019.
- Greg Heffley
- The Grout (main antagonist)
- Rowley Jefferson
- Manny Heffley
- Rodrick Heffley
- Susan Heffley
- Frank Heffley
An unexpected inheritance gives Greg Heffley's family a chance to make big changes to their house. But they soon find that home improvement isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Once the walls come down, all sorts of problems start to crop up. Rotten wood, toxic mold, unwelcome critters, and something even more sinister all make Greg and his family wonder if the renovations are worth the trouble.
When the dust finally settles, will the Heffleys be able to stay... or will they need to get out of town?
Greg says during the ancient times, kings were buried with their possessions. He then says his mom is making him do spring cleaning, but with all the junk in Greg's closet, it will be hard for him. He then brings up the subject that he never cleans his closet, and when his family moved to their house, Greg did that right away. Greg realized some of his items were from his childhood, finding stuff like some playing cards, a Halloween costume, a toy space rocket, and lots more. He also found a binder of scratch and smell stickers from the 3rd grade, and kids paid him to smell it. If Greg starts an autobiography, he will put the scratch and smell stickers in it too. Greg realized he had stuff from kindergarten and he made a fish with a stick attached to it, and if anyone wanted to bully him, they would get a face full of glitter, and that's exactly what happened in kindergarten. Greg then realizes that he made a cool thing for his mother in preschool, but never gave it to her because he tripped on the front step, breaking the clay pot. Greg is glad that he found more stuff because when he was a kid he read a book about some kids who go to another world by using a closet. When Greg tells his mother that his work is finished, she says he can sort them into 3 piles, the ones that stay, the ones that get thrown away, and the ones that must be donated. Greg and his mom, Susan, plan to make a yard sale, but they need to read a magazine. Greg says some sign examples are boring and corny, so Greg creates a hoax flyer. Greg only makes a few copies out to the neighborhood before Susan takes it away from him. Greg gets his stuff from his room and places them onto tables for the yard sale.
He also plans to have books and clothes and common things, but Greg needs to be creative. He donates his grandparents' former toys that he got but did not play with. Greg realizes he has birthday cards, so he uses some white-out on all of his and adds a table for them, saying that money can be added. Greg adds some of his broken toys so little kids can play with them. Greg puts marbles and other stuff in "Mystery Socks", and creates a table for them. Greg also adds some rare items, like a vampire bat shield, invisibility lotion, and a freckle remover. Greg gets some of his arts and crafts stuff and makes a table for that, too. Greg's mom is impressed, and offers Greg $3 for the paper flower; however, Greg says it's all hers just for $10, but Susan refuses. Greg gets nervous about things getting stolen from the yard sale, so he calls up Rowley to prevent them from being stolen. However, Rowley wants to do a thing with his dad, but Greg says when he protects it, he is getting an outfit and a badge. Rowley asked for the badge, though and Greg told him to crack his knuckles hard when nobody got funny ideas. Rowley did not pay attention to it, because he was looking at the gifts Greg got from Rowley's mother. Rowley was angry, cause of the sign or it. They fight a lot, which people showed up. Bunch of people showed up, but a lady temps to buy a coin but is dented, so Greg says it came from World War II. Greg lied, due to being the coin being made last year.
Rowley was not paying attention, like before and played the gadgets. Greg told Rowley to do his job, but if he refuses, he's fired but Rowley is not paid and thought the bat shield was cool, but a broken umbrella. Greg thought he saw a thief, but in his pockets were his car keys and some guy came and stole items, taking them to the dumpster before Greg explained the concept. It rained, and Greg wrote the price and put the expensive items in the garage, but Rowley is not helping Greg out. When Greg got everything to the garage, most of it was soggy and ruined. He says kids do not be famous right away cause of school. He also plans to be a hero, like every night his parents turned on the news and tells a story about a kid saving an adult's life and Greg wishes he can be like that and have a statue of himself at the town park. Greg looks for dogs, but the breed was not correct. They were small and friendly. Rowley was worried about the dogs stalking him, so he ate the bacon, which is bad luck. Greg told Mr. Jefferson and his wife all about it. They took Rowley to a doctor. Greg guessed he saved his friend's life, which he becomes a hero. He thinks it would be a holiday of being a hero and no work and no school. But with his luck, stores will have sales of Greg Heffley day.
On Sunday, Greg explains that with all that rain, it made plants grow. Greg says he is bad at weeding a plant. On fertilizer, it is expensive for Frank, and Greg heard you can get the third eye and if he gets one, he will blame his parents. He also says Fregley eats grass in his yard after hosing. Greg knows if your famous everyone knows where is your location, and wanted to build a small house that has the cool stuff in the basement and have a secret elevator. Greg thinks living in your basement is bad, so Greg says he will order TVs that look like windows. Greg's house will be big and says it is hard. So Greg plans to have moving sidewalks. His bathtub will be made out of glass, and an aquarium below it so it can feel like he's in the ocean, and on top of that, his security system will be super high-tech. He draws booby traps so if anyone tries to sneak in. Greg will often have parties, and if anyone who does not get out will be trapped and kicked out.
Greg heard that Great Aunt Reba died, and Susan was crying. Frank said she died in her sleep, which brings the subject to aunts. Susan reminds Greg that it was the aunt who sent angry letters when no thank-you cards were returned. Manny was upset, too. Mom read to Manny about a series called Preston Platypus. One of the books was called "Says Goodbye". Susan has a bunch of books that are in the same series, and every book is about a topic. When Greg hears something new, Susan reads a book to him in the series. One book is about a tree dying and had to be cut down. The same thing happened but refused to chop it and the tree fell into the Heffleys' deck. The basic plot is Preston will be worried, and his mother tells him not to worry and her prediction will be correct. The only reason Greg still read them, was cause he wanted a twist ending. He had to see a counselor after drawing about Preston being pushed into a lion pit at the zoo likely because of the implication that he was mauled to death by the lion. At "Aunt Reba's funeral", they had to wear black but realized they ended up at the wrong funeral and when they went to the correct one, the funeral ended. Greg hoped his dead aunt had a good laugh, but he thinks it's false. During dinner on the next day, Susan had a meeting and said they got an inheritance from Reba. When you find this out, do not act happy. Because it disturbs the person who died. With the money, Frank wanted to spend the money to expand his Civil War diorama, Rodrick wanted to use the money to buy a tour bus. And Manny wanted to fill up his room with chocolate pudding. Greg gets in the conversation and says he wants everyone to have their space on every floor and his will be cool, but Susan temps to tell everyone in the family for the kitchen, then with more discussions, she storms angrily out the room.
The meeting gave Greg the idea to explain the thing to his friend, Rowley Jefferson, about it and his plan to make his room cool, and Rowley was not jealous. Greg wanted to trade houses with Rowley cause Rowley's house is bigger and newer than Greg's house. But Mr. Jefferson shuts the idea down. Frank says if Greg and Rodrick own houses, they are responsible for repairs themselves. Greg tells him it would never happen cause robots will exist, but Frank is not amused. Every time Frank teaches Greg new things, Greg is doing it badly. Like for an example, he tells Rodrick and Greg how to replace a flat tire, but Greg plays video games, and Frank asks what Greg will do if he gets stranded, and Greg says he will always have a whistle, but Frank is not amused again. He brings the subject to plumbing, which scares him because of the Grout, whom Greg is worried about when he was a kid, but if Greg stops thinking about it, it would "go away". The next day, Greg and his older brother had to go to the home improvements store, in which they got kicked out a long time ago, since Manny used the toilet on the display floor. Greg says the hot tub have almost killed him twice, like one night a big storm came, and Frank told Greg to fix the cover-up, but almost got flown away. And that same time, Greg slipped the cause of a frozen hose to the stairs.
Greg realized that wasps were in the hot tub, so Rodrick came in and sprayed with them with a hose, but they did not get stung. And Greg had to clean the gutters one time because Rodrick will say ouch louder than Greg and Frank got distracted by an angry animal. Greg climbed the latter, which Rodrick did not respond to and worried he will die, so he climbed to reach a window but he got stuck in the toilet while Susan was showering, making her scream. Frank temps to fix the washing machine but fails and the family had to clean clothes by hand but Rodrick. He puts his dirty clothes in the dishwasher but got wet and Rodrick went to school in his van with his wet clothes drying off but was caught by cops. The parents called a plumber and fixed the washing machine and Manny used Susan's credit card to pay. After school on Wednesday, workers did construction. A guy was using a backhoe, and Greg talked that he and Rowley almost dug to China, but failed. If they had that, they would've dug to China. Not only does Greg plan to dig to China, but he also wants to destroy the school. Susan gave workers drinks cause she feels sorry who had to sweat, but after that, they went to the bathroom. Greg found a worker that had a magazine while temping to go use the restroom, but Greg thought he would read his magazine and will camp out there, so he pushed the test button on the smoke detector, making a loud noise and it was off. Workers got out by the door and Manny threw his toys in a pile outside and bounces off of it.
Greg's parents were not happy he did that, but they at least got bathrooms that can be used outdoors. After they poured concrete for the foundation, the crew framed the addition. Greg's dad made him go outside and work with the men, but Manny wanted to go, even though Frank said he was too young to work. The foreman told him a guy named "Buddy" is the guy to talk to right now, and he was busy framing. Greg said he's in charge, making the crew not impressed. Greg figures out a prank, the wall standing by itself, and he told Buddy if he can nail boards, but Greg needed to use the hammer for right-handed people. Greg helped out a lot, and he served lunch. He temps to give a meatball sub to Luther, but Greg knew he would confront him for the meatballs disappearing. Greg put the bun and spilled all the meatballs into a can of concrete. Luther accuses Buddy, then a fight came and Greg got out of it. Greg talks that his neighbors are treating the family as slaves, and on top of that, workers made noise and people complained. Mrs. Tuttle is not happy that her flowers were trampled by the workers and forced the family to replace them and a lady who had cats, step on a nail at the Heffley's yard, and Frank had to pay the vet bill. Manny is building a house, and Greg had an issue about garbage like he had to chase the trash that came out. Greg went to bed late because of trying to explain he was not toilet papering a neighbor's house and Greg had a test, which he flunks it. Rodrick thinks a wrecking ball will smash the house and make a music video with his band about it but were not happy. The house has mice, which Greg says his house will be full of glass. Rodrick plans to have the mice away with a snake, and he will buy a mongoose to eat the snake, making Rodrick get a lot of pets to catch one and another. Albert Sandy tells about a person that got struck and full of electricity. The air conditioner had to be removed cause the workers can bring in a big thing. They can live in a bunker and might be stuck forever. If Greg had a better driveway, he can play basketball. Cats hunt mice, and jerks want to write bad things on the wet concrete. Smoke came in, and everyone got out. The reason smoke started was because Susan heated some bacon but did not know chips were in the oven. She and Frank asked Mrs. Tuttle to share the house but refuses due to the mixer trampled her garden. The structure had to be put down, and people are not happy but Manny and his friends and they had a party.
Test scores came in, like the test Greg flunked it, but the grade flunked it due to a lizard distracting kids. Susan is upset about lower school district funding and she guessed they had to move, but Frank said he lived in this town, and Rodrick said he dislikes moving cause his band is famous in Greg's town. Manny does not want to move, due to having sprinklers. If the family moved but Rodrick, he would live in the basement and will never notice that a new family came in. Greg wants to move because he can act like a new person and act like a gangster or a snowboarder. Or Greg can pretend to not speak English. They find their new house is way better with an indoor pool, a big kitchen, and stuff like that. Now the family is all on board with the idea of moving in. He also says he used to play a game called M.A.S.H, which is predicting your future. Greg once wanted to marry Becky Anton and told her today in the middle of class, but she got disturbed and told the teacher to swap partners. Greg swapped with another kid named Kelson Garrity, who used to be famous but lost his spot when he picks his nose. Greg says he needs a friend who needs to be like Rowley and some people goofed off at the open house the family had. Greg says he wants to skip school next year, but his parents might end up in prison for that. Rowley got upset when Greg tells him that he is moving. He reads him a book about how Preston will miss his friend, making Rowley really upset. The family packs, and then has a moving away party. While Greg is setting up for it, his best friend, Rowley arrives. He gives Greg a collage of some of the fun things they did together over the years, which causes Greg and Rowley to cry. Rodrick was with his band playing music, which he creates a mob of the neighborhood. Like Nasty Pants, Mitchell Picket, Speed Bump, high school students, and a lot. Manny's party was wild at nighttime. The next day, they were moving. Movers came in and they had to put stuff in the moving van. However, a crane causes the hot tub to severely damage the house and land in Rodrick's basement, right smack in the center. Since the house is destroyed, the people who want to buy the house refuse to pay, which means the Heffleys won't be moving until they can find a way to pay for the house they were intending to buy, or they're likely not to move at all. Despite this, Greg is glad to have not left Rowley and learns some harsh lessons, like never miss an old lady's funeral or she will make you pay.
- This is the last book to be released in the 2010s and the second book released in 2019.
- Many fans consider this book to be a return to the series' roots.
- Greg mentions reading a book where kids visit another world through their closet, an obvious nod to the first Chronicles of Narnia book The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.
- Hard Luck is referenced when Greg says Susan read him the same book from when Meemaw passed away.
- According to the topics of the Preston Platypus books, Greg may have gotten a new babysitter at one point.
- This is the first book where Greg has cried. He cried in The Long Haul, but he was younger when it occurred.
- One of Greg's old journals appears on Page 28.
- This book marks the second time where the antagonist is an entire fantasy. The first was Old School with Silas Scratch.
- This book does not mention the Pig, as Greg has not mentioned his family's luck on finding him.
- This is the fifth book to not be related to Greg's school life. The first being Rodrick Rules, the second being Dog Days, the third being The Long Haul, and the fourth being The Getaway.
- Like in the previous two books, Grandpa Heffley isn't seen living with the Heffley family.
- This may be because he has gotten a job or somehow managed to afford the rent at Leisure Towers or another residence.
- This is the first time Rowley has his eyes closed on the character page.
- This is the first book where Susan closes her eyes while wearing glasses. It is first seen on page 178.
- This is the fourth book to have symbols over swear words.
- In the arcade at Greg's imaginary house, an OutRun arcade machine can be seen.
- This is the first book since Cabin Fever where Nasty Pants appears.
- This is the first book since The Ugly Truth to cover more than 2 months.
- This is the first book to show Greg almost move.
- In Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, Rowley mentions that when Greg got a strike at a bowling party, he said he was "retired." He says it again on page 121.
- 797 words are written in all capital letters in this book.
- This is the first time Greg is touched and cried.
- On page 34, Greg says if his birthday becomes a national holiday, then everybody will get a day off from school and work, but his birthday is in June, which is during the summer, so it's doubtful whether the school would be affected.
- On page 31, the sign for “Hot Dog Heaven.” Is misspelled as “Hot Dog Haven.”
- On page 80, Greg mentions that he had no idea about the fact that doors could be removed by the hinges, something he had directly done in Rodrick Rules, also when they are unclogging the pipe the floor is shown through the drain cover
- Greg said he could be a great athlete in the future. However, in The Meltdown, he said the hill he lives on makes kids unable to play sports.
- Rodrick is claimed to still be attending school, however, he was shown having to look for colleges in Double Down. However, as claimed in The Long Haul, Jeff Kinney mentioned that there would be fewer continuity references.
- Greg mentions that during the open house, the dad’s are watching football. However, June is during the NFL and College Football off-seasons.
- It is possible that the game is a rerun.
- On page 52, Rodrick is seen wearing a black tie, but on page 59, he wears a striped one.
- In the first book, Greg says he can’t run fast but in Wrecking Ball he can run fast, although he could have become faster as he got older.
- The pictures are noticably larger than they are in the other books.