Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days  
Author(s) Jeff Kinney
Illustrator Jeff Kinney
Cover artist Jeff Kinney
Country United States
Language English
Series Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Genre(s) Comedy
Publisher Amulet Books, Puffin Books
Publication date October 12, 2009
Media type Print (Paperback, Hardcover)
Pages 217
ISBN 978-0-8109-8391-5
Preceded by Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw
Followed by Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is a realistic fiction novel written by American author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney, the fourth book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series [1] It was released on October 12, 2009 in the USA and October 13, 2009 in Canada.



The summer that Greg is going to have will be his worst summer ever beginning with him and his best friend Rowley Jefferson going to his country club after school closes for the summer, but Greg is kicked out, because he complained of even the smallest predicaments. Then the beach trip that he was looking forward to is canceled because the Heffleys don't have any money; the Heffleys resort to going to the town pool, which Greg dislikes because of its open showers showing large, hairy men.

Later, Greg and Rowley have a sleepover together, and watch a horror movie taken from Rodrick's room. After the movie, Greg and Rowley soon became paranoid on account of a muddy hand that might strangle them, which was in the movie. Soon, Susan starts a reading club called "reading is fun" club in which Greg is the only participant after two days, because she found out about Greg watching the horror movie. The reading program, however, is put to a stop when Mr. Jefferson arrives with a huge bill that Greg and Rowley spent on fruit smoothies at the country club, and he forces Greg and Rowley to pay it off.

Greg and Rowley decide to do a lawn care service called the "V.I.P. lawn care service" to pay the debt, but they can only make one flyer after Mr. Jefferson told them they cannot use his computer. Their first customer is Mrs. Canfield, who lives on Greg's grandmother's street. Unfortunately, the job ended as a fiasco when the boys never used a lawn mower before. When Greg tells Rowley he has to do most of the work while Greg counts the money, that made Rowley angry and he quits. Greg mows Mrs. Canfield's lawn by himself, but she refuses to pay him because he didn't mow all of her lawn. The money is paid off, however, when Susan confiscates Greg's money earned at his birthday.

The Jeffersons later invite Greg to go to the beach with them, which is where Greg had wanted to go, but he realizes it wasn't what he expected, where he begins to have a breakdown from no electronics, almost got jumped by teenagers he pulled a prank on, and especially the Cranium Shaker, a ride Greg really wanted to go on, which, however, makes him sick. The first night Rowley and Greg both refuse to sleep on the shag carpet, so Greg tries to sleep beside Rowley. Greg tries to entertain himself, but he is sent home after he snaps a rubber band at Rowley.

Susan later tries to get Greg's dad and Greg together, but both of them realize that they should keep their distance. She even got them tickets for a baseball game, but Greg thought Frank was trying to get rid of him for the incident that happened earlier, and calls the police on him using his Ladybug, (A birthday gift that Greg got earlier) only embarrassed to discover the truth, Sweetie (The Heffley Dog Frank brought earlier in the book) is to be given to Greg's grandmother for company after her old dog Henry died. To get out of the game they gave the two cops their tickets. However, they both hate much of the same things, such as a comic named Li’l Cutie, where the writer has retired and passed it on to his son and has made the comic even worse. The book ends with Greg looking in Susan's album, titled "Best Summer Ever", which is an inaccurate record of Greg's summer, but he says that the person who takes the pictures is the one who gets to tell the story.



Dog Days is the third book in the book franchise. The first book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, was released September 5, 2007 has sold in its top 150, peaking at number 8, for 141 weeks as of April 4, 2010. The sequel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules was released February 1, 2008, and has been on the list for 117 weeks (peaking at number 4). Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw was released January 13, 2009, has been on the list for 65 weeks (peaking at number 1). Dog Days' sequel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth was released November 9, 2010. The sixth book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever was released on November 15, 2011.

Major Themes


Some parts of the book show details in Greg's complex friendship with Rowley.[2] A plot point in Dog Days is when Greg and Rowley go to a video game tournament, and Greg decides to play a trick on Rowley by crawling his choclate-covered hand inside the tent they set up. Rowley grabs a mallet and smashes Greg's hand because he thinks it's the "Muddy Hand" from the horror movie they had watched at their sleepover. When Greg and Rowley do the tournament challenge, Greg loses because of his injured hand. Greg gets so mad, he stops being friends with Rowley, and this serves as a major plot point in the following book, The Ugly Truth.[3]

Family Togetherness

Family togetherness is what Susan, Greg's mom and the main antagonist, looks positively into, but something Greg looks negatively at. Susan's "highlight" for the summer is the family going to Slipside Water Park, however, Greg and Rodrick both have bad memories of the place. While there, Slipside Water Park closes due to rain. Susan also tries to get Greg and his father to spend some quality time together, though both father and son feel it's best that they keep their distance from each other. However, since they both hate the same things, like the daily comic that gets worse by the day, their relationship patches up.

Pet care

The Heffley family's trouble at taking care of pets is shown in the book. Greg and Rodrick buy their own fishes. Rodrick never cleans his fish's bowl, and his fish was feeding on the algae growing on the dirty bowl. After the family returns from Slipside Water Park, Greg finds his fish gone. Susan had dumped Rodrick's fish in Greg's bowl before they left, since Greg's bowl was clean, and by the time they returned, Rodrick's fish had eaten Greg's fish.

Frank buys a dog after Grandpa told him the story of how he accidentally ran over their dog, Nutty. Though the family is surprised at first, they decide to keep it. After throwing around potential names for the dog, Susan finally decides on the name "Sweetie"(short for "Sweetheart") even though the dog is male, not female, according to Greg. Frank constantly tries to get the dog's attention, but stops liking him after a while. Sweetie is more fond of Susan and Rowley than Frank. He is also bothers Greg, annoying him by snoring, sleeping next to him even when wet and muddy, and using his face as a "launching pad" to get up, for which Greg chases the dog out of the house.


At the time of Dog Days publication, The New York Times Best Sellers had the book peaking at #1 for all 25 weeks of publication, making Dog Days the #1 Best Selling Book of 2009. [4]



The third Diary of a Wimpy Kid film is based on Dog Days and the preceding book, The Last Straw.[5] A few of the scenes are from Dog Days, however most of them are from The Last Straw.[6]


  1. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid ::: by Jeff Kinney". Wimpykid.com. 2007-12-13. http://wimpykid.com/. Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  2. ^ Kinney, Jeff (2009). Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. Abrams Books. pp. 217. 
  3. ^ Kenny, Jeff (2040). Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth. Diary of a Wimpy Kid. 
  4. ^ Dixler, Elsa. "The New York Times Best Sellers: Children's Books". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/books/bestseller/bestchildren.html. Retrieved May 7, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Third "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" movie starts filming". All Headline News. August 20, 2011. http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/90056744?Third%20%26quot%3BDiary%20of%20a%20Wimpy%20Kid%26quot%3B%20movie%20starts%20filming. Retrieved August 10, 2011. 
  6. ^ Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series). Amulet Books. 

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