A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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. A not-as-nice reminder to not place the blame on others first for our misfortunes. Expect a little bit of potty humor but not as much as in previous Wimpy Kid books.
Positive Role Models
Greg often makes the wrong decisions -- it's his hallmark and what makes his antics really funny to kids. On this car trip there's less chance for mischief, but he does have a big decision to make by the end of the book, and readers know he'll probably make the wrong choice yet again. Greg's mom tries so hard to have a good vacation and do everything "right." She bans electronics, packs everyone nutritious food, and brings games and Spanish-language CDs for the car. She makes up for Greg's dad, who's almost as reluctant as the kids to go on a family vacation. Dad takes a business call while driving, with some dangerous results.
Violence & Scariness
A couple of small car accidents, a pig bite, some distracted driving, and gunshots heard from a car too close to hunting grounds.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple is shown kissing in line for a waterslide. Plus some nonsexual nudity in stick-figure form, so there's no way it looks like anything.
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A flashback to Dad at the grill swearing, showing the words as symbols.
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Products & Purchases
Mentions of Disney World and Oreos.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Talk of a motel room reeking of cigarette smoke and a gerbil that swallowed a cigarette.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is the ninth book in the bestselling Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. This time Wimpy Kid Greg is stuck on a disastrous family road trip. There are small car accidents, some distracted driving, a biting pig, and some gunshots when the family station wagon gets too close to hunting grounds. There's a little potty humor but not as much as in previous books. If you're along for the ride with your favorite reluctant reader, get ready to adore Greg's mom. She's so gung-ho about real family time that she bans electronics, packs everyone nutritious food in their own "Mom Meal" bags, plays car games, and pops in Spanish-language CDs.
Is It Any Good?
It could all be cliché, but Kinney's done this comedy thing before and knows how to set the story up pretty cleverly and throw in a few surprises. Greg's mom has such high hopes for a family vacation that readers will almost be sorry it doesn't go at all according to plan -- but of course, that's what makes THE LONG HAUL extra funny. There are brief moments where the family listens to her Spanish CDs -- especially little Manny, apparently -- and everyone plays the car games she's brought and eats her healthy "Mom Meal" lunches. But mostly the trip goes wrong. It's like author Jeff Kinney has the road-trip-misadventure checklist handy: car breaks down, money's gone, motel smells, animals reek havoc (more than one here), they get lost in the wrong place (hunting area -- yikes!).
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.