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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel

Greg hilariously searches for dance date in 7th book.
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What parents need to know

Educational value

Readers of this installment in Jeff Kinney's mega-popular Wimpy Kid series will get a humorous but not all that unrealistic idea of middle school life, going on a first date, and being at a middle school dance.

Positive messages

The reassuring message of The Third Wheel can be found in all of the Wimpy Kid books: Life as a tween can be awkward, embarrassing, and disappointing, but everyone gets through these years and survives.

Positive role models

Seeing adults through Greg's lens, we get a kid's-eye view of parenting that can make grown-ups seem clueless and random. But we can also see that Greg has caring parents who strive to improve their kids' minds and social skills, and who set reasonable limits. Greg isn't an example of great decision-making, but kids will learn from his mistakes.


Greg gets locked in the laundry room by a bratty little boy he's babysitting. While he's trying to find a way out, Greg overhears the boy riding his bike in the house, crashing into things, and crying whenever he bumps into something that hurts.


Greg describes (and Jeff Kinney's pictures illustrate) his parents kissing, which he says makes him gag. Greg also writes a note to a girl on her desk, and another kid who shares the desk draws a picture of Greg kissing the girl to make fun of him. Greg has his first slow dance. Also, there's a "Mad Pantser" on the loose, sneaking up behind and pulling down guys' pants to embarrass them.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Greg's lazy, aimless Uncle Gary has nightmares about "monkeys in the walls." Precocious kids and teens may make a connection that Gary has used drugs in the past.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel is the seventh installment in Jeff Kinney's hugely popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Like the other Wimpy Kid books, this humorously told and heavily illustrated story recounts the experiences and observations of hapless middle schooler Greg Heffley. This book includes Greg's "memories" of being in the womb, and the awkwardness of family restaurant dining, sharing space with an uninvited relative, and most of all, struggling to get a date for the school dance. There's a very small amount of cartoon violence, as well as a few cartoon kisses, a "Mad Pantser" (who pulls down guys' pants), and loads of other funny but painfully embarrassing moments. Parts of this book series have been made into movies, too.

What's the story?

In the seventh volume in Jeff Kinney's mega-popular series, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE THIRD WHEEL, central character Greg Heffley describes his formative years -- even reaching back to his "memories" of life in the womb. Through journal entries and Kinney's trademark pen-and-ink illustrations, Greg also recounts a school controversy about toilet paper, a "Mad Pantser" who pulls down guys' pants at the most embarrassing moments, his deadbeat uncle, and his struggle to get a date for the school dance. As in the other Wimpy Kid books, Greg makes dozens of mortifying errors in judgment, and hilarity ensues.

Is it any good?


Jeff Kinney's capacity to embarrass his character, Greg Heffley, and amuse his readers seems to know no bounds. Like the other volumes in the Wimpy Kid series, this book is full of mostly tame, middle-school-type humiliation and laughs. Kinney's memorable illustrations are as dynamic as they are funny, and as always, they tell as much of the story as the narrative does. Wimpy Kid books have typically been popular with kids even as young as 7 or 8; however, as this particular installment focuses primarily on middle school life and the big dance (as opposed to family life), some of the youngest Wimpy Kid readers might not be as excited about this book as they were about some of the others.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about embarrassing moments. Have you ever been embarrassed at school? What happened? What did you learn from it?

  • How does Book 7 compare with the other Wimpy Kid books?

  • What aspects of Greg's middle school experience seem realistic to you, and what is exaggerated?

Book details

Author:Jeff Kinney
Illustrator:Jeff Kinney
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:November 13, 2012
Number of pages:224
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12
Available on:Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, Kindle

This review of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel was written by

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Teen, 14 years old Written byKaymoney1431 December 3, 2012


I'm 13 years old..and I absoloutely LOVE reading Diary of a Wimpy kid.. It's one of the only books I can actually read and not get bored of. It's such a great book for teens and kids. :) I reccomend this for 10+! Whooo! <3 O-H-I-O.. I.S..DA. B-O-M-B YO (; K A I T L Y N. M. (;
Parent Written byMr. Mario November 22, 2012

Third Wheel is Great!

Great Book
Adult Written byHi muhammmed November 6, 2014

Wimpy kid 7

I want to read
What other families should know
Educational value