Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

We hope you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

Book Review

This humorous book is the first in the " Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series by Jeff Kinney and is published by Amulet Books, an imprint of Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, also known as Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal, is an illustrated novel written for kids ages 8 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Greg Heffley decides to keep a journal, not only because his mother wants him to, but also because he wants something he can give to people who ask him questions once he is rich and famous. In handwritten type and through the use of cartoon illustrations, Greg details his day-to-day life as a middle school student and gives his opinion on bullying, why girls like boys, where to sit on the first day of class, how to draw cartoons and numerous other topics, such as the cheese touch.

The cheese touch is a middle school ailment similar to cooties that comes from touching an old piece of cheese that rests beneath the basketball hoop on his school's playground. If you touch it, you have the cheese touch until you touch someone else. Then they have it.

At home, Greg is a middle child. Greg's older brother, Rodrick, plays practical jokes on him; Greg thinks his younger brother, Manny, is spoiled. He believes that his parents don't understand him. They do unforgivable things, such as telling him to stop playing video games and go outside. When that happens, Greg goes to someone else's house and plays video games.

Greg's best friend is Rowley. They became friends because Greg felt sorry for Rowley. All the mean things that Rodrick does to Greg, Greg does to Rowley, along with a few ideas of his own. One day, Greg goes too far and lets Rowley take the blame for chasing kindergartners all the way home, instead of walking them home, as a Safety Patrol person should. As a result, Rowley stops hanging out with him. Greg does not understand why. But later, when his classmates ask how the cheese under the basketball hoop disappeared and Greg knows that a group of older bullies made Rowley eat it, he tells his classmates that he (Greg) threw the cheese away. Although his class now flees his cheese touch, he and Rowley resume hanging out together.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems

Greg thanks his "lucky stars" that he is on the other side of the gym from the girls because his wrestling outfit doesn't completely cover him during wrestling matches in gym class.

Authority Roles

From Greg's point-of-view, his mother is seen as crazy for wanting him to write his feelings in a diary, but he appreciates her help when she steps in to keep a chain-saw guy from chasing him on Halloween night. His mother uses her authority to force Greg to go out for the school play. After he pits his father and mother against each other, they argue, but he still has to go out for the play. His mother brings a bouquet of flowers to give to Greg after the play. But when he destroys the entire performance by not singing and throwing apples at a classmate, his mother tosses the flowers in the trash on their way out.

When Greg asks for a Barbie dollhouse for Christmas (he wants to use it as a fort for his soldiers), his mother is OK with him experimenting with different toys. After his parents argue, he is not given the dollhouse.

When Greg has a personal problem, his mother does not ask for details but tells him it's important to do the right thing. As a result, Greg does what is right for him, not others. When he tells her that he did the right thing, once again, not going into any details, she takes him out for ice cream.

From Greg's perspective, his father is not normal because he gets up early on Saturdays to clean the house. His father badgers him about not playing video games and doing something that requires physical movement. When his father shuts off his console and tells him to go outside, Greg goes to Rowley's house and plays video games. Greg thinks his dad is smart but doesn't have common sense and isn't capable of dismantling Greg's game system.

Greg's father loves Halloween. He fills up a trash can with water and throws it at teenagers who walk past their house.

To show Greg that he shouldn't have destroyed his younger brother's snowman, his father destroys the enormous snowman-base that Greg and Rowley made. His parents let his older brother listen to heavy metal music with parental warnings on them, but not Greg. When his father punishes Greg for doing something wrong, he throws whatever is in his hands at Greg. When his mother punishes Greg, she takes a few days to figure out his punishment.

In many ways, Greg feels that his parents slow him down, but he tries to tolerate them and their ways. When his parents do not immediately give him an expensive weight set that he asks for, Greg concludes that, once again, he has to take charge of the situation.

Rowley's dad monitors his son's games and actions. He also stops the boys from scaring others in their homemade haunted house at Halloween.

Mrs. Norton, the director of the school play, whispers the lines to students instead of forcing them to memorize the script.


A lot of mild variations of words, such as jerk, stupid, dumb, dork, heck, shoot, freak, and butt, are used. Even milder expressions, such as stinky poo, screw loose, and suck it up, are also employed. Greg gives his friend Rowley noogies for asking if he wants to play instead of saying hang out.


A side comment is made that girls may like boys because they have cute butts. Younger brother Manny brings Rodrick's magazine with a woman in a bikini lying on a car to show-and-tell at his day care.

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at ThrivingFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

Producers often use a book as a springboard for a movie idea or to earn a specific rating. Because of this, a movie may differ from the novel. To better understand how this book and movie differ, compare the book review with Plugged In's movie review for Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

For additional parenting resources, download a free issue of Thriving Family, a marriage and parenting magazine published by Focus on the Family, at ThrivingFamily.com/magazine.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

8 to 12




Jeff Kinney






Record Label



Amulet Books, an imprint of Harry N. Abrams, Inc.



Year Published


Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards, 2009; Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award, 2009


We hope you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!