Jeff Kinney to Honor Librarians in Nationwide Tour for Next Wimpy Kid Book, ‘No Brainer.’ SLJ Has the Exclusive Excerpt.

'Wimpy Kid' tour will highlight “extraordinary” local libraries, librarians at bookstore events around the country. Kinney donates $100,000 to distribute to libraries chosen by local users, along with diverse books to enhance collections, courtesy of multiple publishers.

Jeff Kinney (and Greg) portrait by Filip WolakJeff Kinney, author of the mega-bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, holds a unique position. With the launch of volume #18 in the series, No Brainer, he will use the requisite book tour to make a statement—in support of libraries.

“We decided to put on a tour in which librarians and libraries are really the centerpiece,” he says. “These days, especially, librarians have been put in this position where they have to be very courageous, with the constant threat of book bans. Being at the center of the culture wars, libraries are in a really vulnerable position.”

Kinney has pledged a personal donation of $100,000 to be distributed to libraries along his book tour, launching October 23, the eve of No Brainer’s release. The book, published by Amulet, a division of Abrams Children's Books, continues the adventures of middle-schooler Greg Heffley, who attempts to save his crumbling school before it’s closed for good.


Cover of No Brainer, upcoming release in the Wimpy Kid  series.

Kinney’s tour will include a nationwide search “to find extraordinary librarians and treat them to a fun-filled weekend trip in Boston” hosted by Kinney, according to a release. Coordinating with publishers, Kinney and team will donate “high interest, diverse books to distribute to libraries and to kids we meet along the way,” he says.

At each stop (listed below), the No Brainer Show will welcome kids and families to the stage to join in a brain-challenging contest to garner prizes. A monetary donation from Kinney and a selection of books will go to a local libraryschool or publicof the participants' choice. “We're also bringing [on stage] special librarians who are beloved in their communities,” says Kinney.

To help in the effort, the author is tapping some superstar peers from the kid lit world. Book creators, including Jon Klassen, Gene Luen Yang, and Matt de la Peña, will make appearances at select bookstore tour locations.

Asked if he had a message to offer librarians, Kinney responded:

“We just see this need and opportunity to celebrate librarians. So that's what we're hoping, to bring a lot of joy with us and to really make a point of recognizing how important libraries are to our communities and how much they need to be supported right now.”

Kinney will partner with bookstores across the country to host “The No Brainer Show” on:

  • Monday, October 23: Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego, CA
  • Tuesday, October 24: Pages: A Bookstore in Manhattan Beach, CA
  • Thursday, October 26: Wild Sisters Book Company in Sacramento, CA
  • Friday, October 27: Bookshop Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, CA
  • Saturday, October 28: Hicklebee’s in San Jose, CA
  • Sunday, October 29: Rakestraw Books in Danville, CA
  • Thursday, November 2: Third Street Books in McMinnville, OR
  • Friday, November 3: Barnes & Noble in Portland, OR
  • Saturday, November 4: Waucoma Bookstore in Hood River, OR
  • Sunday, November 5: King’s Books in Tacoma, WA
  • Monday, November 6: Brick and Mortar Books in Redmond, WA
  • Tuesday, November 7: Village Books and Paper Dreams in Bellingham, WA
  • Wednesday, November 8: Eagle Harbor Bok Co. in Bainbridge Island, WA

Further details for “The No Brainer Show” are available on


Following is an excerpt from No Brainer:


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Kathy Ishizuka

Kathy Ishizuka is editor in chief of School Library Journal.

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