A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
- Author: Jeff Kinney
- Illustrator: Jeff Kinney
- Genre: Humor
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Misfits and Underdogs, Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Abrams
- Publication date: October 27, 2020
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 224
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: May 18, 2021
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