Truth or Dare

256p. S. & S./Aladdin. Sept. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481459686.
Gr 5–8—Lia, a seventh grader, cannot bear the idea that her friends have reached puberty before her. But facts are facts, and Lia still has no boobs, and her first period has yet to arrive. Told from Lia's point of view, this title follows five seventh graders, all focused on belonging and keeping up friendships that are beginning to fray. At the center of the group is Abi, who is mean and moody and says provocative things. In order to avoid "girl talk," Lia refuses to attend sleepaway camp and instead goes to Maine to stay with her aunt Shelby, a New Age believer who uses crystals and herbal cures. Aunt Shelby tells Lia about her past painful experiences in middle school when Abi's mother bullied her. When the five girls are reunited, the meanness continues, and during a game of Truth or Dare, Lia lies and tells the group she got her period and kissed a teenage boy. Dee has a keen ear for middle school worries. Her characters talk and act like young adolescents. Some adult intervention becomes necessary when the group implodes due to lies, cruel taunts, and mockery. Aunt Shelby provides wise counsel when she tells Lia that not all friendships last, but clearing the air is still necessary. At last, Lia becomes her own person and learns to be more discerning about whom she befriends.
VERDICT This is a good book to give to middle schoolers, especially young women on the verge of puberty. They will recognize themselves and their friends and may decide that when it comes to forging friendships, honesty works better than fanciful tales.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing