Diary of a Wimpy Kid – The Meltdown



Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown by Jeff Kinney
Published by Penguin|Puffin
Date: 30 October 2018
R.R.P. $14.99


Jeff Kinney you have done it again, The Meltdown is bound to be a Wimpy Kid fan favourite and had me engrossed from beginning to end.  Greg Heffley kept me entertained and had me hooked from the beginning, when his imagination runs wild – thinking about his own talking toilet, unfrozen cavemen and cyborg legs so he can sleep on his way to school.  I am sure none of this surprises a Wimpy Kid fan, but as a fairly new reader to the series I continue to be amazed at how talented Jeff Kinney is and how seamlessly he writes about Greg Heffley, his friends and family.  I guess after 13 books they feel like family to him and that is why each book gets better.

In The Meltdown, disaster and a whole lot of crazy seem to follow Greg Heffley around, especially when the middle school shuts down because of snow.  A grand battlefield breaks out in Greg’s neighborhood, where enormous snow forts, flags to mark their territory, walls to divide the top and bottom of the street and the most monumental snowball fight you have ever seen are taking over Surrey Street.  Greg and his best friend Rowley Jefferson are at the center of this Meltdown, while they fight to protect their neighborhood and themselves.


Greg and Rowley’s adventures are not limited to the biggest snow fight of all time, there is the unplanned trip to warm up at grandma’s house, pizza boxes for snow shoes, no technology weekends and getting lost in the woods.  None of these runs smoothly, all are filled with humor and loads of disaster – just as we all like it right?


I enjoy the pace of the Diary of the Wimpy Kid books and think they have been very smartly written to encourage readers of all ages and abilities.  The combination of words and pictures, many of which are very funny, encourage even the struggling reader to go on adventures with the Heffley family.  No chapters, mean no stressing about making it to a certain place in the book and allows the reader to stop when they are most ready to.  Jeff Kinney has developed the perfect combination of an easy to read and engaging chapter book.

Some of my Favourite lines in the book:

  • “…I could buy myself a pair of robot legs, I could get a half hour of extra sleep each morning.”
  • “But then we realized that there were TWO sets of footprints, and they were OURS. That meant that we’d spent the past ten minutes walking in a giant CIRLCLE.
  • “We were really careful, and everything held together. But when we put in the last brick at the top, we realized we forgot to build a DOOR.”
  • “But we celebrated too SOON. Ten minutes later,  the Lower Surrey Street kids were BACK.”


I have one very small issue with the book.  The word idiot is used and I find it such a negatively impacting word that I would prefer not to see it in children’s books at all.  To some people this may seem such a small thing to point out but I think it is one of those words that is creeping more and more into children’s literature and is unnecessary.

Overall, The Meltdown is a fantastic book.  It is funny, disastrous, a little crazy at times, with a hint of real life.  Greg remains the same and provides the reader with a lot of entertainment, especially when he thinks up inventions that don’t always necessarily work (much to the readers delight).  This is no. 13 in the series and I hope there are many more still to come, because I am really looking forward to what crazy stuff Jeff Kinney can get Greg, the Heffley family and Rowley to do.

Thank you to Penguin|Puffin Books for the opportunity to read and honestly review this book.

Check out the free The Meltdown activity pack that can be downloaded from Penguin

Did you know that Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid series is now available on Audio Book.  If you have a reluctant reader then this might be the perfect solution.  Take a look at the Penguin Website




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