- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Series: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book 10)
- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Amulet Books; 2nd edition (November 3, 2015)
- Language: English
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
Greg Heffley starts the book by talking about how his mother doesn't like technology and smart phones, and is starting a petition to prevent the town from using electronic devices for a day. As his school year starts, he comments that he feels like he has "been in middle school forever," and that he wants to change things up, so he signs up for the Homework Buddies program. At home, Greg's grandfather moves in with them after the rent is raised at his retirement home and his girlfriend breaks up with him. After Greg forgets to screw the toothpaste cap back on, his dad lectures him about how small things can lead to big consequences.
Greg hears about a school trip to a farm, which he decides to skip out on. His mother gets enough signatures for her petition, so the next day, Greg attends a park cleanup. After ninety minutes, he gets tired and runs away, then meets up with his Homework Buddy. A teenager doing community service follows them as well, and Greg gets him in trouble after pointing out that he stole some cookies.
Back at home, while his parents are away, Greg tries to put the toothpaste cap on, but it falls down the drain. He loosens a pipe to get it, but forgets to turn off the water valve first, causing a puddle of water to leak downstairs. His grandfather tells him that they can go to the store to buy paint and cover up the stain, but while on the road, Greg's grandfather drives the wrong direction and the car runs out of gas. Greg accidentally moves the car, which falls into a ditch, and his parents arrive. He decides to go on the trip to get out of town and avoid facing punishment from his father.
After arriving at the farm, Greg hears rumors about a deranged farmer named Silas Scratch who still wanders around the area. The kids struggle to adapt to their uncomfortable cabins, with some even trying to get sick and go home early, causing the chaperones to confiscate all their deodorant so they do not try to eat it. Greg and his cabinmates decide to raid other cabins, believing that the other cabins have deodorant.
They steal one of the teachers' bags, and an emergency chaperone is called, who turns out to be Greg's father. While gathering firewood for the final night, Greg comes across an old shack that he thinks Silas Scratch lives in, but turns out to be a maintenance shed. Greg encounters his dad, who explains that he invented Silas Scratch to prevent people from coming in the shack because he wanted to use it as shelter himself. Greg figures that he might be stuck chaperoning at the farm when he is older and he will want to use the shack as well, so he continues to spread rumors about Silas Scratch.
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