Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth
|Cover artist||Jeff Kinney and Chad W. Beckerman|
|Series||Diary of a Wimpy Kid|
|November 9, 2010|
|Media type||Print (paperback, hardcover)|
|Preceded by||Dog Days|
|Followed by||Cabin Fever|
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth is a 2010 bestselling children's fiction book by American author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney and is the fifth book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The Ugly Truth sold 548,000 copies in its initial week of publication, edging out Decision Points, which sold 437,000 copies.
Kinney initially struggled with the decision of whether Greg would be a non-aging "cartoon character" or a literary character that would age and go through puberty, deciding to make puberty one of the book's themes. Kinney also debated over whether to end the series with five books, eventually deciding to continue the series.
The story begins with Greg explaining that since he and his best friend Rowley have had a big fight, their friendship has been "history".
Susan Heffley, Greg's mother, announces that she will be going back to college for a few months in order to stimulate her mind. As a result, the Heffley men must take care of themselves, and most stability falls apart. Food is often ruined, and since Susan usually does the chores around the house, Greg is left with little clean clothes to wear.
Greg is also given the responsibility of waking himself up. He tries a better alarm clock than his older one, which didn't work, a wind-up clock. He put it under his bed so he would have to get out of bed to find it. But with the clock ticking loudly under his bed, he feels like he is on top of a bomb and therefore gets no sleep. As a result, Greg accidentally sets off the fire alarm at school in his sleep-deprived state. The entire school has to evacuate, and the fire brigade is called. After everyone goes back in, the head teacher says that whoever set off the alarm will be suspended and should turn themselves in. Greg does not get caught, but a rumor goes around that the fire alarm squirts out an invisible liquid when you pull the handle and the teachers could detect it with a special wand. Then everyone thinks that the teachers used this as a trick to see which kid goes to wash his hands first. No one goes to wash their hands, and since it is the middle of flu season, the school has to close early. Susan then announces to the family that they will get a maid named Isabella, since both parents are busy, who will help take care of the kids after school. However, instead of doing her responsibilities, such as doing the laundry, Isabella spends her time watching T.V. and eating the Heffleys' snacks, leaving Greg and the rest of the family with extra work.
Meanwhile, Greg gets ready for his annual dentist appointment, but Frank takes Greg to his dentist because he thinks Greg is too old for his usual dentist. Greg bites on the dentist's finger, making Greg wear headgear. The next day, Greg lost his headgear. After school, Greg finds Manny wearing it.
Later, Greg finds out that the school is having a "lock-in" for Saturday night, in which participants would sleep over and spend time doing activities. Greg signs up, but when he arrives, he is surprised that Rowley is also there as well. During the night, however, angry parents arrive at the school, because the kids weren't able to answer their cell phones, since the teachers took them away, making the parents worried. As a result, most of the kids go home early, leaving only Greg and Rowley.
The following week, Greg becomes sick because he couldn't get any sleep at the Lock-In. Susan leaves him with Isabella. Greg later falls asleep and wakes up because of noise coming from downstairs and looks out his window to see cars parked in front of the house. Susan comes home to take care of Greg and finds out Isabella invited all the maids in the neighborhood to watch soap operas. Susan fires Isabella afterward. The next day, Greg sees Rowley with a zit on his forehead and he tells Greg that his mom says he's becoming a man, in which irks Greg. Afterwards, Greg finds out he is growing slower than Rowley. At home, Susan and Frank talk about being late bloomers. The next day, Rowley shows off his zit to some girls, which Greg thinks is dumb so he writes a fake note to Rowley signed "The Girls" about no one liking his zit which works. Later, Greg and Rowley are invited to a party by an older kid named Jordan Jury. Greg is excited because there are going to be girls there. After Greg tells Susan about Jordan's party, she forbids him from going because Gary Heffley (also known as Uncle Gary) is having a fourth wedding the same day. Greg calls Rowley because he can't go to the party and asks if Rowley won't go without him, but Rowley still wants to go. Greg is worried about being the reader of the Old Testament because adults think it's cute when a kid can't pronounce a word.
On Saturday the Heffleys prepare for the wedding and Greg is nervous about getting "The Talk" from Gammie. Meanwhile, in the car, Susan calls Gammie about being late because they have to pick up Greg's tuxedo. Greg is thrilled because he thinks he's going to be a groomsman. After they arrive at Gammie's, Greg meets multiple family members including Uncle Gary and his fiancee Sonja. Later that evening, Greg has to sleep in a crowded room in a group called "The Bachelors" which include Rodrick, Manny, Uncle Gary, Benjy Heffley, Charlie Heffley (also known as Uncle Charlie), Terrance Heffley, and Arthur Heffley. Greg sneaks out and sleeps in the bathroom.
The day before the wedding, Greg complains about no entertainment at Gammie's, and how old and valuable her belongings are. The year before, Greg ate some old taffy and got sick. Then he finds a photo of his father, Frank eating it when he was a kid. Later Greg finds out during the wedding rehearsal, he was going to be assistant flower boy to Manny, and not a groomsman. On the day of the wedding, after the ceremony, the Heffleys go into the hall where food was getting served and Uncle Gary's best man Leonard gave a toast of how Uncle Gary and Sonja got engaged. When Gary and Sonja went to a baseball game, Gary was about to break up with Sonja so he could date her sister. But then an airplane with a banner reading "Marry me Sonja?" coincidently flew over the stadium and Sonja reacted to it. Sonja is upset after hearing that and Greg thinks they will divorce soon.
After the wedding, Greg realizes that it's ultimately a good thing he didn't go to Jordan's party because it turns out that the only reason he invited kids from Greg and Rowley's grade was to basically use them as servants. Greg and Rowley ultimately go back to being friends again when Greg chooses to make the first move in patching things instead of just waiting for Rowley to come to him.
Critical reception for The Ugly Truth has been mostly positive, with the book gaining praise from the Los Angeles Times and the National Post. The School Library Journal gave a positive review for the entry while Common Sense Media commented that the book wasn't as "fresh and irreverent" as its predecessors.
- ""Wimpy Kid" creator Jeff Goody talks about his day job". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- "George W Bush beaten by a Wimpy Kid in US". Bookseller. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Garratt, Sheryl (12 November 2011). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: interview with Jeff Kinney". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Minzesheimer, Bob (29 July 2010). "First look: Author Jeff Kinney's 'Ugly Truth' about 'Wimpy Kid'". USA Today. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- "Review: The Ugly Truth". Booklist. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- "Children's Review: The Ugly Truth". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Carpenter, Susan (12 November 2010). "Book review: 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth' by Jeff Kinney". LA Times. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- "Book Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5: The Ugly Truth, by Jeff Kinney". National Post. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- "Review: The Ugly Truth". School Library Journal. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- "Review: The Ugly Truth". Common Sense Media. Retrieved 5 December 2012.