"The Wimpy Kid" is back.

Jeff Kinney has come out with his fourth "Wimpy Kid" book, titled "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth" (Amulet Books/Harry N. Abrams, $13.95.) This time, the cover is purple!

Kinney's best-selling books are written as Greg Heffley's personal diary of the trauma of middle school, using type that looks like a boy's printing and lots of stick figure cartoons.

In the new book, Greg has had a fight with his best friend, Rowley, and expects him to come "crawling back" -- but he doesn't.

Greg auditions to be in a commercial for Peachy Breeze Ice Cream but loses out to a little kid, yet another example of "age discrimination."

"Up until I was eight or nine, I was the star of every family gathering. It seemed like nobody could get enough of me. But after Manny was born, things really changed for me. See, when you're a little kid, nobody ever warns you that you've got an expiration date. One day you're hot stuff and the next day you're a dirt sandwich."

Every book is a mix of school dramas and family dramas and this one is, too.

The family dramas include:

Greg's mother goes back to school and hires a maid, Isabella, to clean the house. Greg notices that all Isabella does is sit around and eat snacks. There's also a wedding coming up: Greg's Uncle Gary is about to get married for the fourth time. (The wedding stuff isn't funny.) Greg outgrows Tender Hugs dental office and ends up at the office of the terrifying Dr. Salazar Kagan who sends him home with dental headgear.

The school dramas include:

A parenting class, where students have to take care of an egg as if it were a baby (the school nurse traumatizes the class by collecting the eggs and throwing them in the trash).

A school "lock-in" with group activities including a guessing game over pictures of a body part that gets Greg's group in trouble.

Have you had a "Wimpy Kid" experience yourself? Something silly or embarrassing that happened at school or at home that might seem pretty funny if you were talking about it later? Or maybe you have your own idea for an adventure for Greg?

NeXt is asking readers 18 and younger to create their own "Wimpy Kid" diary entry. It can be inspired by something that happened to you or it can be your original idea of a diary entry for Greg Heffley. Feel free to include your own stick figure cartoons. If you're basing it on something that happened at school, please use fake names!

IMPORTANT: Please make sure we can read your diary entry by including a typed version of the diary entry. We'll reprint some of our favorites in NeXt, and all who send entries will be eligible for a prize drawing for books. Include your name, age, grade, school, home mailing address and home phone number. The deadline is Dec. 31.


Mail "Wimpy Kid" diary entries to: NeXt

Buffalo News

P.O. Box 100

Buffalo NY 14240