June 21, 2018

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The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes | SLJ Audio Review

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redstarOAKES, Stephanie. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly. 8 CDs. 8:45 hrs. Recorded Bks. Aug. 2017. $87.75. ISBN 9781501960321. digital download.

Gr 9 Up –Seventeen-year-old Minnow Bly is sentenced to juvenile detention for brutally assaulting a mentally disturbed man. Only 12 hours prior, her entire community had been burned to the ground and the Prophet, the leader of the cult to which her family belonged, had been murdered. Now an FBI investigator makes her a deal. He’s wants the truth in exchange for recommendation for parole. Minnow’s life has been built on lies: the lies of the Prophet, the lies of her father, and the lies she’s told herself. As she works with the investigator, Minnow relives the events leading up to the murder: her forbidden friendship with a young biracial man outside of the cult, her disturbing arranged marriage with the Prophet, and the fateful day the Prophet commanded her father to cut off her hands with an axe as punishment for running away. Brutal and raw from the opening words, Minnow’s story will take hold of listeners and grip them hard, not letting them go even after the story ends. Narration by Morgan Hallett is crisp and on point. VERDICT High school students who like their realistic fiction gritty and disturbing will love this extraordinary first novel.–Lisa Hubler, Charles F. Brush High School, Lyndhurst, OH

This review was published in the School Library Journal November 2017 issue.

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