The first book begins with an introduction to help Greg Heffley and his middle school life. Despite the title, and not trying to sound like a wimp, Greg tries to explain how the book is a journal and not a diary. This book takes place during his (presumably) sixth grade year. The book also explains the cheese touch early on. It is similar to the game of tag in which the person who touched the cheese (a moldy piece of Swiss cheese left on the blacktop) had to get rid of it by touching someone else (It's like "The Cooties"). In the first half of the book, events such as Halloween, learning to know how to wrestle, and acting in the play of The Wizard of Oz are told. During trick or treating, Greg and Rowley are ambushed by a group of teenagers. Then they take refuge at Greg's grandmother's house and taunt the teenagers from there. On Christmas Day, it shows Greg getting very few presents that he would like. Rowley bought Greg a Big Wheel. Greg then throws a football at the front tire of the bicycle while Rowley is riding the Big Wheel and he breaks his arm. At school, Rowley is surrounded by girls who encourage him to get well which makes Greg mad. Later, he and Rowley join the Safety Patrol whose responsibility are walking home morning kindergartners. However, Greg gets kicked off the Patrol for chasing the kindergartners with a worm. When Greg gets kicked off, Rowley starts to ignore Greg. Slowly, they begin drifting apart and Rowley starts hanging out with Collin Lee and when he went to Rowley's house, Greg retaliates by spending his night at Fregley. That turns into a disaster as Fregley goes crazy on jellybeans and Greg runs away in the middle of the night. Nearing the end of the school year, Rowley's comic strip is entered into the school's newspaper. Greg tells Rowley to list him as the co-creator because it was his idea and joke punchline. Rowley then denies that Greg had anything to do with it. They get ready to fight but are then interrupted by the teenagers they taunted on Halloween. They showed up to pay them back and they force Rowley to eat the cheese, but Greg gets away by saying he's allergic to dairy products. The next day, Greg explains that he removed the cheese, but the way he worded it, it sounded like Greg touched the cheese. For the rest of the year, Greg was in seclusion from everyone else and he and Rowley became friends again.

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