To Tell You the Truth

Atheneum. Jun. 2021. 272p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534478596.
Gr 3-7–Vrabel’s book of adventure and redemption beautifully intertwines stories from two generations. Trixy heard her last story from her grandmother just before the car accident that took her life and left Trixy scarred. Since the accident, Trixy’s friendships, family, and schoolwork have been suffering. To improve her grades, Trixy has to write five stories, and she vividly retells her grandmother’s wild tales to skeptical ears. To prove her stories are true, Trixy runs away with her best friend, Raymond, to retrace her grandmother’s childhood memories. While running away has its problems, it mends her friendship, begins to heal her family, and proves that all of the stories were true. This is an outstanding book, and Trixy’s struggles will resonate with readers. The suspense of Trixy’s dilemmas and adventures, along with the excitement within her grandmother’s stories, make this a page turner. Disparate story lines weave a multidimensional tale that ties together perfectly. Trixy’s and her grandmother’s voices will remind readers of Louisiana from Kate DiCamillo’s Louisiana’s Way Home, echoing a similarly fearless, independent, and spunky attitude.
VERDICT Featuring a determined protagonist, this evocative tale of truth and healing is a must-purchase for all libraries.

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