Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Book Poster Image
Family road trip goes hilariously awry in 9th installment.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 21 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

A mention of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Flat Stanley and what often happens when you write to popular authors. Plus kids find out how to drive a car with a busted radiator.

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. 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 & representations

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.

Language

A flashback to Dad at the grill swearing, showing the words as symbols.

What 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.

User Reviews

Adult Written byzeekattacklee January 30, 2015

I can’t seem to put any of these books down..

Great books.. But like the other books, It is very hard not to want to read the next one after the latest. But Unlike the last books, I Really enjoyed how this...
Parent of a 11 year old Written byGeorgeA 1 January 15, 2015

Awsome

it is awsome
Kid, 8 years old November 19, 2014
Kid, 11 years old November 28, 2014

What's the story?

Greg's all ready to kick back for a whole summer in his basement playing video games. Then Mom springs a surprise on the whole family: road trip! Even worse: no electronics allowed. They're expected to play family games and listen to Spanish-language CDs the whole way to county fairs and roadside landmarks. Of course Greg's mom's perfect family vacation starts to go awry before they even leave the driveway. Then there's the stinky motel, a biting pig, a busted radiator, those awful gas station bathrooms ... and that's all before their wallets and phones are stolen.

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!). 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about real family car trips. Are they perfect like the ones in Greg's mom's magazine? Or are they closer to how Greg's family experiences them?

  • How does The Long Haul compare with other books in the Wimpy Kid series?

  • Greg's mom bans electronics on their trip. Are you allowed electronics during family time? If not, do kids and parents follow this rule together?

Book details

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