This summer, Jeff Kinney jumped in a van and headed to eight indie bookstores in the Northeast Corridor to hand out copies of Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure, the second book in the offshoot to his Wimpy Kid series. But that tour turns out to have been a test run for an even bigger one, the Deep End Drive-Thru Pool Party Tour, which Kinney will kick off on October 27 in celebration of the release of the 15th book in the Wimpy Kid Series, The Deep End.
Kinney will once again take to the Wimpy Kid van, travelling to 20 independent bookstores. Attendees at the socially distanced events will drive through a series of interactive stations drawn from the books, including a lifeguard dunk tank, an underwater mock-up, and a tiki hut. At the end, Kinney will be there to hand out signed copies of the books using a six-foot pool skimmer for safe social distancing.
“2020 hasn’t been fun for kids,” Kinney said in a statement. “We’re excited to be throwing drive-thru parties that kids and their families can look forward to. We can’t wait to put on our masks, hit the road, and create happy memories for all the fans we meet along the way.”
A highly anticipated release, The Deep End comes on the heels of the Rowley book, which was postponed last March due to the Covid-19 outbreak. In August, Kinney told PW that Abrams recalled trucks that were already shipping the three million copies in the first print run to retailers. “Our primary concern was around the welfare of independent bookstores,” Kinney said. “We didn’t feel like it was fair for the book to come out at a time when stores couldn’t sell the book.”
This article has been updated to correct an earlier error.