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The wimpy kid takes on global warming

Jeff Kinney's newest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book looks like it will be about heat and melting snowmen. But the content of "The Meltdown" is just the opposite. Greg Heffley's life is filling up with snow. On Monday, Greg deals with baggy thermal und...

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Jeff Kinney's newest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book looks like it will be about heat and melting snowmen.

But the content of "The Meltdown" is just the opposite. Greg Heffley's life is filling up with snow.

On Monday, Greg deals with baggy thermal underwear, a thermos mix-up between hot chocolate and cream of mushroom soup, and memories of the frigid outdoor recess when everyone wanted to see if spit would really freeze before hitting the ground.

As the week goes on, the snow causes more problems, especially when the middle school teachers make everyone take off their boots at the doorway. Of course, everyone's socks get soaked in the giant boot puddle and mayhem breaks loose.

But Greg's biggest challenge comes near his home on the Surrey Street hill. While he and his friends have a huge snowball fight on Upper Surrey Street, the Lower Surrey Street kids sneak to the top of the hill with their sleds.

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Greg writes, "Now, if there's ONE thing that unites us hill kids, it's when the kids from the BOTTOM of the hill try to take what's OURS."

With the protection of double-brick snow walls and spiked icicle protection, things look good. But when a Lower Street kid throws a hockey stick at them, all bets are off.

Like all Wimpy Kids books, author Jeff Kinney fills the pages with expressive black-and-white cartoon illustrations.

Kinney also fills the beginning of "The Meltdown" with Greg's description of every kid in his neighborhood. Although they appear to be random stories, Kinney manages to weave everything together by the end.

The book also begins with Greg's concern about global warming and the thawing of frozen cavemen. Greg figures it makes sense to stay on the good side of the "smart kids" because they're the ones who will save the future.

But by the end of the story, he is the survivor - the unexpected hero who gives hope to us all.

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown." By Jeff Kinney. Abrams, 2018. 224 pp.

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