The Ugly Truth

Jeff Kinney, Author
Jeff Kinney, Abrams/Amulet, $13.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8109-8491-2
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Prebound-Glued - 217 pages - 978-0-606-23666-9
Paperback - 217 pages - 978-0-14-134082-1
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"See, when you're a little kid, nobody ever warns you that you've got an expiration date. One day you're hot stuff and the next day you're a dirt sandwich," Greg Heffley tells readers partway into this fifth installment of Kinney's bestselling Wimpy Kid series. There's a noticeable feeling of transition in this outing as Greg negotiates a sour patch with longtime best friend Rowley, his mother's decision to go back to school, the imminence of puberty (and dreaded accompanying discussions at home and at school), and the fact that one can't stay a child forever—despite evidence to the contrary provided by Greg's Uncle Gary, who's embarking on his fourth marriage. Although there is perhaps less of a central focus in this book than in some of its predecessors, the sense that "all good things must come to an end" emerges, something that inevitably will be true of the series itself at some point. But Kinney hasn't lost his touch for spinning universal details of middle-school life into comic gold—he doesn't have to worry about becoming a dirt sandwich anytime soon. Ages 8–12. (Nov.)
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