Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Summary & Study Guide

Jeff Kinney
This Study Guide consists of approximately 31 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
This section contains 729 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” is a young adult novel by Jeff Kinney which recounts the misadventure-prone summer road trip of Greg Heffley and his family. “The Long Haul” is the ninth installment in Kinney’s “Wimpy Kid” series. When the novel begins, summer vacation has just gotten underway. Greg looks forward to a long summer of relaxing and doing nothing important. But his mother, Sue, after reading an article about family vacations in Family Frolic Magazine, decides the family will go on such a vacation.

Sue determines they will use the Family Frolic article as a guide to their own vacation. Greg, his father Frank, and his brothers Rodrick and Manny are uncertain about the trip. The family packs up their minivan, and attaches Frank’s old boat to the back. They then get on their way. The family misses several sightseeing opportunities because Manny is napping, and they do not want to wake him up. The motel the family takes for the first night is run-down and dirty. Greg and Rodrick go to use the hot tub, but a large, hairy, bearded man and his annoying family are using it and won’t get out. Greg nicknames the family “The Beardos”. Trying to sleep, Greg later hears loud sounds outside. There, he discovers the Beardo children ramming a janitorial cart into the wall. Greg yells at them, but must rush back inside when the Beardo father comes out to yell at him.

The family next heads to the annual county fair. There, Greg narrowly avoids running into the Beardos. Manny guesses the weight of a pig at a weight-guessing contest, and wins a baby pig as a result. The baby pig causes numerous problems, from eating out of the minibar at the next hotel to scrambling around the minivan and causing Frank to swerve over to the side of the road. Frank puts his foot down and demands the pig be given up to a petting zoo. Manny is very unhappy with this. After the minivan’s sunroof breaks, rain floods everyone inside, causing Sue to declare that the family still has a chance to have a good vacation, and will stop following the Family Frolic guidelines. By taking random turns, Greg and his family end up in a small town diner with amazing apple pie. When leaving, they interrupt a funeral procession. The mourners are not happy.

Greg’s family then decides to head to the beach. Stuck on the bridge to the beach, Greg decides to feed a seagull through the sunroof, leading to the minivan being flooded with seagulls, and causing a fender-bender. The minivan must then be repaired, so Greg and his family decide to spend the next few hours at Soak Central, a crowded water amusement park. They put their personal possessions away in a locker, and then manage to find a lawn chair to put their clothes on to go swimming. Greg discovers the Beardo family has taken their chair, left their clothes on the ground – and has taken their locker key. Greg and his family have the staff open up their locker, only to discover it is empty.

Greg and his family decide enough is enough, and head home. As they head home, they discover which motel the Beardos are staying at, and sneak into the Beardos’ room to see if their personal possessions can be found. Frank is caught using the bathroom, and throws the Beardos’ keys into the bushes to have a chance at escape without being followed. The minivan’s radiator breaks, and then gets a flat tire. A passing Hispanic father and son stop to help. Manny surprises everyone by speaking Spanish.

Manny directs the father and son to the petting zoo, where Frank and Susan agree to bring the baby pig back home as a pet. The boat is given to the father and son as a gift. Back at home, Frank must spend days canceling his credit cards, ordering new ones, and getting things back in order. Greg later finds out he had the locker key all along, and that the number on the key was different than the locker the staff opened up. Greg wonders whether he will tell his parents or not about the key – and if so, what story he will invent to use.

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