FICTION

Three Things I Know Are True

HarperTeen. Jan. 2020. 480p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062908025.
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Gr 9 Up–This leisurely paced novel in verse follows two families (the Carriers and the LeBlancs) who are affected by the accidental shooting of 17-year-old Jonah Carrier. Liv, Jonah’s 15-year-old sister, shares the heartbreak of watching her brother struggle through being machine- and nurse-dependent since he accidentally shot himself with his best friend Clay’s father’s gun, and she explains the toll this accident has taken on both families. Clay experiences heavy guilt and responsibility for Jonah’s condition. Clay’s mom doesn’t know how to converse with and support the Carriers while she copes with Clay’s behavior. Jonah’s mother is in denial about her son’s condition. Liv experiences her own withdrawal from school but finds purpose in taking care of her brother. While these families are dealing with the trauma of the shooting they are also preparing for Jonah’s trial, which places everyone against each other, including members within their small community. Liv is immature and can be easily viewed as childish. As a teenager, Liv calls her brother’s machines by silly nicknames such as “Suck-It-Up” and “Trapeze,” and refers to her brother’s gunshot wound as his “boo-boo” throughout the story. The romance between Liv and Clay doesn’t seem to fit considering the trial, the shooting, and how everyone deals with Jonah’s condition.
VERDICT A heartbreaking story about a topic that is too prevalent in today’s society.

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