The Ugly Truth (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 5)

Image of The Ugly Truth (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 5)
Release Date: 
November 8, 2010
Harry N. Abrams
Reviewed by: 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth is an absolute delight, sure to please the many fans of this mega-successful series. The novel is written in the graphic novel + cartoon format of diary entries just like the previous titles in this series. To add to the series’ authenticity, author/illustrator Jeff Kinney lines the pages with pen and ink sketches—a winning combination.

Like the other books in the series, The Ugly Truth features middle-school student, Greg Heffley. And in this book, as in previous ones, our hero records the daily events involving him, his friends, his parents, and his younger and older brothers both at school and at home.

A new school year is about to start, and Greg is worried. He has just had a fight with his best friend, Rowley; this is doubly upsetting because Greg doesn’t have
any other candidates for friendship—and everyone knows that middle school requires at least one person to get your back and save you from obscurity. Once school begins, however, Greg finds that his broken friendship is the least of his problems.

This is a year of change, and Greg isn’t sure that growing up is all that great. He’s facing puberty—with all the discomfort that goes along with it. He covets facial hair and even envies the blazing zit on Rowley’s forehead because it’s a sign that Rowley is becoming a man.

Soon Greg finds himself bringing home a permission slip to attend a very confusing Facts of Life class, in which the girls and boys are separated. This seminal event gets Greg to thinking about girl/boy parties. Add to the mix a dreaded visit to his 95-year-old Gammie who is scheduled this year to give him “The Talk.” Could life get any worse?

Evidently: Yes. A trip to a new dentist results in Greg having to wear the most embarrassing thing ever: headgear to correct an overbite.

And just when he thinks his plate cannot get any fuller, Greg’s mom decides to go back to school. This means that every family member has special new chores. When Dad and the boys try to fix dinner, the result is disaster. Hiring a maid to help doesn’t work out, either. Life pretty much sucks for Greg.

This hilarious book totally captures the essence and angst of what it means to be a middle schooler. Readers will relate to the perfectly selected details surrounding the further development of the main character—in a book that stands alone while serving as a worthy addition to the series.

The quick pacing and humor yield a very enjoyable read. And the illustrations add just the right amount of wry commentary to make for a fun read for those who have already survived that particular abyss that is middle school.