Honest June

Random. (Honest June). Dec. 2021. 288p. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9780593378298.
Gr 4-7–Honesty is not always the best policy. Especially for 11-year-old Black girl June Jackson, who believes telling seemingly innocent lies to her family and friends is the only way to make everyone happy. When her dad pressures her to join the field hockey team, she does, even though she much prefers writing for the school paper. When her mom chooses embarrassingly childish outfits for her to wear, she inconspicuously changes into something more mature. As if middle school and her parents’ high expectations weren’t challenging enough, June’s life is turned upside down when a fairy godmother appears and puts a spell on her that forces June to say what she is truly feeling at all times. June has always been afraid that the truth will hurt everyone around her. Now, equipped with a fairy godmother on her shoulder and an honesty blog in her pocket, June must take her newfound “gift” and discover that, even though it’s difficult, telling the truth is always the best choice. In this cleverly updated fairy tale, Wells has crafted a relatable, likable protagonist, despite June’s overt lack of honesty. Readers will empathize with June; her relationship with her parents and the constant pressure she is under will keep fans rooting for her to finally speak her truth. This is a fun read that reminds young people that being honest is always best.
VERDICT Recommended for reluctant upper elementary and middle school readers seeking lighthearted realistic fiction with a touch of magic.

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