Bestselling author Jeff Kinney continues to expand his Wimpy Kid universe with Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure, the first fantasy novel starring reimagined versions of his beloved characters Rowley Jefferson and Greg Heffley, releasing on April 7 from Amulet Books in hardcover, e-book and audio editions. The publisher has announced a three-million-copy first printing with planned publication in 20 countries this year and more to follow. Charles Kochman, Abrams editorial director and Kinney’s longtime editor, is editing the new book, which will be followed by the 15th Diary of a Wimpy Kid title, slated for publication in fall 2020.
In Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure, middle schoolers and best pals Rowley Jefferson and Greg Heffley become “Roland the Kind” and “Garg the Barbarian” who embark on a quest to save Roland’s mother from the White Warlock. Fans will remember that Rowley previously took center stage in last year’s Wimpy Kid spin-off Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, which found him serving as his buddy Greg’s biographer.
“Jeff Kinney’s newest book, Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure, is another tremendous opportunity for readers—as well as booksellers, librarians, teachers, parents, and caregivers—to revel in the fun, and the fun of reading, that Jeff’s stories provide,” Michael Jacobs, president and CEO of Abrams said in a statement.
To support the launch of Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure, Kinney will kick off a Awesome Friendly Adventure Tour in April, which lives up to its name by sending Kinney to a series of destinations even he does not know in advance. Each morning, a different U.S. city will be revealed to Kinney and to his Wimpy Kid followers. The author will then travel to that announced location to surprise students at local, underserved schools and to meet fans at independent bookstore events. Fans can follow along on social media and on the tour website. Amulet will be bolstering this expedition with an extensive and multifaceted marketing campaign.
“We’re doing something completely new this year, and that’s truly exciting for me,” Kinney said in a statement about the randomized tour. “After many years of being on the road, it seems like the perfect opportunity to do something daring and spontaneous. I’m thrilled for the adventure that awaits, and I’m looking forward to epic moments with my fans along the way.”
Since Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid was published in 2007, it has remained on the New York Times bestseller list for more than 694 weeks. More than 200 million copies of the books in the Wimpy Kid series have been sold globally, and the books are available in 64 languages.