Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Greg's wilderness vacation is funny but predictable.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 12 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Some facts about how to camp and hike safely in bear country and what to do if you're sprayed by a skunk. Greg gives his impression of the Noah's Ark and Garden of Eden stories. Plus Greg's fascination with toilets taken to a new level when he learns what happens to waste in a camper and how it's removed.

Positive Messages

Strong messages about the importance of family time and how misadventures sometimes make a vacation special.

Positive Role Models

Greg gets in some minor trouble here when he hangs around with a group of kids at the RV park. The kids make a mess of the camp store when they're chased by teens, but most are caught and have to make amends. Their other antics are pretty harmless, like sneaking shampoo onto a man's head in the camp shower. It's usually the whole family getting into trouble in this one for not following rules -- camping in the wrong places, setting off a flare in the woods, etc. Potty humor abounds, but stays pretty tame. Some diversity here: A friend of Greg's at the RV park is in a wheelchair. Plus Greg notes a few times about difficult financial circumstances: His family is staying in his grandma's basement while his house is fixed and they need to spend very little on their vacation.

Violence & Scariness

A capsized canoe, bees attack teens, kids have fistfights for fun with no real injuries, Dad gets a burn from a flaming marshmallow. A lightning storm strands travelers who panic and buy out the camp store. A flash flood and a camper engulfed by water. Greg gets lost in the woods. Kids fight each other with giant squirt guns and watermelons. A scary story around a campfire about a mysterious creature and a missing dog. A story about a kid sucked dry by mosquitoes.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End is the 15th book in the best-selling Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. Like the ninth book, The Long Haul, and the 12th book, The Getaway, Wimpy Kid Greg is on a family trip. This time the Heffleys need a budget-friendly vacation and borrow their uncle's abandoned RV. Outdoor hijinks ensue with capsized canoes, animal encounters, lighting storms and flash floods, flaming marshmallow burns, squirt-gun battles and friendly fistfights, and a panicked run on the camp store when the RV park gets cut off from civilization. Potty humor abounds, thanks to Greg's fascination with their RV's sewage tank, but it never gets too gross. There's also some implied nudity with two scenes in the all-gender stall shower area of the RV park, and an incident with lost swim trunks in a river. In two drawings, adults are shown drinking together, beer and mixed drinks, but it's not overt. Kids who haven't been camping before (like Greg) will learn a bit about how to hike and camp in bear country and what to do in skunk encounters. Like the other two family trip Wimpy Kid books, there are lessons here about the importance of family time and how sometimes it's the misadventures that make vacations special.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byI am a kid September 9, 2021

It too violent

So much death and killing and drugs
Adult Written bymigueleugenedelolmo September 19, 2021

hola doctor

mi nombre es escubetus olmetus
Kid, 12 years old April 18, 2021

My favourite so far

This book is really good, and it is my favourite of the series so far.
Spoiler alert: It gets a little too crazy to be actually true at the end, but its still... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old August 18, 2021

What's the story?

In DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE DEEP END, Wimpy Kid Greg Heffley and family decide they need a summer vacation and don't have a lot of money. It's a stroke of luck when Grandma offers them their uncle's RV that's been sitting in her driveway for two years. Only problem is that the Heffleys don't know how to navigate the world of camping, national forests, and RV parks. There are all kinds of rules about where you can park your RV, how to camp safely in bear country, how and when to empty your sewer tank, how to navigate a canoe around catapulted watermelons... and much more. As the misadventures and missed showers and missing swim trunks start to add up, the Heffleys wonder if they should have left home at all.

Is it any good?

Kids who go on wilderness vacations with their families will relate to this funny yet predictable 15th Wimpy Kid installment. It's predictable the moment Greg mentions his fear of bears in the national forest and again when a skunk visits the RV park. Of course misadventures ensue. And of course Greg fixates on the plumbing of the RV -- at least that part doesn't get too gross. Thanks, Jeff Kinney, for that. It's also a boon that all the tomfoolery in the RV park is pretty tame. It's the kind of more innocent fun you have at camp or camping if you happen to have a stash of water guns, a catapult, and some watermelons.

As the tension mounts near the end, it's hilarious when Manny, Greg's preschool-age brother, saves the day -- and it's not the first time on that trip, either. Mom gets the short end of the stick in this installment, though. Usually she's the glue that keeps the family grounded and here she ends up thwarted in all her attempts to make the vacation meaningful. Maybe someday she'll get that perfect family picture for social media that she's after, but not this trip.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Greg's mom wants the ideal family photo in The Deep End. Greg says it's because she's on social media looking at other people's "perfect" family pictures. Does your family feel pressure to have a social media image? Why or why not?

  • Greg's mom buys a contraption that locks away Greg's and Rodrick's electronics. Does your family limit screen time on vacations? Or do you enjoy extra screen time? 

  • Which is your favorite Heffley family trip? The car trip in The Long Haul, the tropical getaway in The Getaway, or the rustic RV vacation in The Deep End? Where would you want to go with the Heffleys next?

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