Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway Book Poster Image
Funny, milder 12th tale plumbs travel fears on Xmas holiday.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 19 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Shows what happens when airplane cabins lose pressure. Kids will want to look up how airplane toilets remove waste -- Greg's assumption that it falls to the Earth frozen and causes damage is no longer true. Plus some facts about the box jellyfish.

Positive Messages

A nice reminder that family time is important and always an adventure, but it'll never live up to the perfect experience parents often hope for. Dad tries to impart a lesson: Don't lose your temper and do something stupid. Greg gets another lesson from the experience: When his family gets in trouble, his family runs for it. Expect a little bit of potty humor -- you can never escape pictures of people sitting on the toilet or standing in front of urinals in these books. But like the other family- and travel-centered story The Long Haul, there's less bad behavior. The Teen Zone of the resort shows kids all on their cell phones, perhaps giving device-happy kids pause. Using other people's luggage has consequences.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Greg often makes the wrong decisions -- it's his hallmark and what makes his antics really funny to kids. In the stories like this one where he's with his family, there's less chance for mischief. More of Greg's nervousness about what could go wrong comes through here. He's a big worrier on the airplane, around a big spider, and on a boat. For a few seconds he finds real joy in snorkeling, but then lets his fears get to him.

Violence & Scariness

The main character's travel fears lead to pictures of people getting sucked out of an airplane, experiencing a water landing, being surrounded by sharks after a water landing, and drowning in a shipwreck. Plus Greg fears he's swallowed a sea horse and imagines it coming out of his chest. A venomous box jellyfish scares swimmers.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway is the 12th book in the best-selling Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. Like the ninth book, The Long Haul, Wimpy Kid Greg is on a family trip. This time the Heffleys head to a tropical resort. Greg, a first-time flyer, has many travel fears. These fears lead to pictures of people getting sucked out of an airplane, experiencing a water landing, being surrounded by sharks after a water landing, and drowning in a shipwreck. Plus Greg fears he's swallowed a sea horse and imagines it coming out of his chest. Often in this series, it's Greg's antics and some potty humor that drive the story. There's some of that, with the usual pictures of people on toilets and standing at urinals. But this story focuses more on Greg's fears about travel and doing new things. Dad tries to impart a lesson: Don't lose your temper and do something stupid. Greg gets another lesson from the experience: When his family gets in trouble, his family runs for it. There's some adult drinking shown at restaurants and the resort, some teen and adult smooches, and a nude beach with nothing shown, plus a coughing Greg gets stuck standing with a group of smokers outside the airport.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJayde Q. November 30, 2017

The Funniest and Disastrous Family Vacation

Greg and his family are going on vacation on the holidays, but they still encounter many problems as usual as in their everyday life. Greg struggles against hi... Continue reading
Adult Written byLovelyKH November 11, 2017

Hilarious...

I've never read a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, although my son has every single one. As a teacher, I thought I would read it to see why my students are into... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byAkash r n January 9, 2018
Teen, 14 years old Written byaannnnaallyy December 10, 2017

the best

ok, this book was awesome coming from a teen. Anyone can read this because it is funny and very interesting. you can know a lot from this book

What's the story?

In DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE GETAWAY, Greg and his family are getting ready for Christmas and nothing's going right. They're behind on the decorating, and Greg's parents are arguing. That all turns around when a commercial for a paradise resort comes on TV. It's where Greg's parents had their honeymoon. At dinner that night, there's a decision: Instead of Christmas, the whole family's present will be a trip to that resort. But first they have to get there on Christmas Eve. Through hectic holiday traffic to the airport, through the security line, Greg makes it onto his very first plane flight. He stresses about everything from the safety video to the pilot leaving the cockpit to being seated between a couple with a baby. When Greg's family arrives at the resort, with the wrong luggage, the misadventures continue. And there's a spider in the bathroom. A big, hairy one.

Is it any good?

Kids heading off on their own getaways will enjoy tucking into their travel seats with this funny 12th edition, so long as they're not already afraid of flying. Or maybe if they're just slightly plane-phobic they'll laugh when Greg repeatedly harasses the flight attendants, asking questions such as "What good will a whistle do in a water landing in shark-infested waters?" Overall, The Getaway is milder and is most similar to the other family-travel story in the series, The Long Haul.

When Greg's on a family trip, there's a little less mischief and a little more time spent on everyone's expectations of what a trip should be. Mom is always trying to get the perfect family photo, and there's no such thing. Rodrick is off trying to be a cool teen, and there's no escaping his family. Dad is bent on showing off to everyone what a seasoned traveler he is, and of course it backfires. Drinking tap water was a really bad idea. Manny is a typical toddler. And Greg takes it all in, adding his wimpy attitude to the proceedings. There are a few seconds of the story where Greg realizes just how cool snorkeling is. But in Greg's world, that kind of bliss never lasts.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Greg's travel fears in The Getaway. Are those things you worry about when traveling? What's the best way to calm those fears?

  • What do you think about the picture showing teens all on their phones at the resort (page 132)? Is that what you like to do on vacation?

  • What do you think of this 12th edition? Have you read the other Wimpy Kid books? Which is your favorite? Why?

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