Title: The Ugly Truth
Series: Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5
Author: Jeff Kinney
ISBN: 9780810984912
Pages: 218 pages
Publisher/Date: Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams), c2010.

The ugly truth about The Ugly Truth is that I find myself getting more and more … disenchanted with the series. Is any body else feeling the same way, or is it just this librarian? Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, and in this book a LOT of the humor is directed towards boys. Greg’s main focus in this book is puberty, and it discusses pimples, growth spurts and development, and missing the toilet, among other things. Kinney appears to be trying to strike a more serious tone, sending Greg’s mother back to school, however briefly, which forces the guys to fend for themselves. The book seems to play on pre-assumed stereotypes (the Heffley’s end up hiring a maid who just sits around watching soap operas) and relies heavily on the fact that Greg does not want to grow up. Greg gets the assignment of having to care for an egg, with the predictably disastrous results. He also is told that he has to wear headgear, but after he conveniently loses it, it’s never mentioned again in the story, which I think is completely unrealistic.

I think younger girls might need a little explanation on the bathroom scenes, and I’m a little worried about younger students who might not be aware of all these changes yet, because I’ve had kids as young as third grade ask for these books. Parents might have some explaining to do that they’re not ready for. It’s been a while since I’ve been that young, but I don’t think at the time I knew nor cared about guys needing to stand up to pee.

This book is regrettably forgetful, so much so that I had to read it a second time in order to write this review because nothing stood out in my mind. Obviously fans will scramble for this book (we still have a hold list over a dozen long, and it came out on November 9th). Although I hesitate to say that the popularity will fade, I think fans will eventually notice a difference.