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All the Truth That's In Me Hardcover – September 26, 2013

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile; First Edition edition (September 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670786152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670786152
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–The village setting of this novel evokes the rigid religious communities of Colonial times, but Berry cleverly sets her story in an unnamed time and place so the protagonist's anguish and the town's mystery are the focus. Sixteen-year-old Judith is still in love with Lucas, even after his father held her prisoner for two years and violently silenced her by cutting out part of her tongue. Another girl went missing at the same time and her body was found washed down a stream. Only Judith knows the truth of what happened to Lottie, but her muteness leaves her an outcast in the village, even from her own mother, and the truth stays bottled up inside her. Told from Judith's narrow, troubled perspective, the story unwinds in taut chapters that peel back what happened two years before and gradually allows Judith to find her voice again. The austerity of the village and its harshly judgmental inhabitants help sustain a mood of dread. Judith does find tenderness in surprising places, and these secondary characters relieve not just her isolation but also offer readers moments of fun and promise as well. Lyrical language, a good mystery, and a compelling heroine–this is a page-turner with substance.–Martha Baden, Prescott Public Library, AZα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Like all things in this cunningly stylized novel, the setting is left undefined; a rough guess is mid-1800s America. The characters and plot, too, are mysteries in need of unfolding, and Berry’s greatest accomplishment is jumbling the time line with confidence, thereby sprinkling every page with minor (or major) revelations. These trappings gild a not-that-unusual melodrama: 18-year-old Judith pines for Lucas, who has chosen another girl. Perhaps this is because Judith is mute, her tongue having been cut off by a madman—who just happened to be Lucas’ father. A few frustrating misunderstandings aside, the story gracefully incorporates everything from the right to education to the horrors of war to the freedom that comes along with acquiring language. What will stick in most readers’ minds, though, is the first-person prose, which ranges from the unusually insightful (“We were four people: the children we’d been, and grown strangers now”) to the just plain pretty (“Will her china face turn bronze beside you as you labor in your fields?”). A strange but satisfying—and relatively singular—mix. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus

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More About the Author

Julie Berry grew up in western New York. She holds a BS from Rensselaer in communication and an MFA from Vermont College in writing for children and young adults. She now lives in eastern Massachusetts with her husband and four young sons.

"All the Truth That's in Me" (September 2013, Viking) is Julie's first YA novel. It has earned starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, BCCB, and the Horn Book. It's been named a Horn Book Fanfare title, a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013, a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013, and a Junior Library Guild selection. It's been nominated for a Carnegie Medal and a YALSA BFYA award. It's being published in 12 international countries and territories. Julie is also the author of "The Amaranth Enchantment" and "Secondhand Charm" (Bloomsbury) and the "Splurch Academy for Disruptive Boys" series (Penguin Books for Young Readers). A forthcoming middle grade release is "The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place" (Fall 2014, Roaring Brook). Julie's works appear in audio and international versions worldwide.

Customer Reviews

Be sure to have some time to read when you begin this book, you won't get much done before you finish it.
Young teens up to adults will all enjoy this story of a young woman struggling to find a future for herself while learning to cope with all the truths of her past .
J. Prather
I'm just in awe of the beautiful writing, the depth of the characters, the twists of the plot - and most of all, the author who put all this together.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Knapp on November 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
After reading some of the reviews, I was a little afraid to read this book. I thought it might be a trendy dystopian story, using the shock value of a sexually exploited teen. Instead I read a difficult but touching story with great depth and heart. Berry has managed to perfectly balance on a thin line: she writes with a maturity and depth that will deter surface readers looking for thrill. Those willing to stick with her sometimes convoluted narration are the very readers mature enough to handle the content. Those looking for an easy thrill will put the book aside. Score one for good writing.

Judith is an outcast in her village (I am not sure what happened to the world, but technology is pretty much lacking everywhere.) In the beginning she narrates the book to an unnamed “you” who is soon known to be the boy she has loved from afar. Something bad has happened to her, and Judith is physically prevented from speaking clearly. Who has maimed her? Where has she been? Who can save her village from an approaching attack? This book is for any teen needing a break from smash-boom-pow adventures with cell phone wielding teen assassins or teens recruited by the CIA to save the world. This story has brutal moments, but also shining moments of hope. Overall is touching and easy to recommend to older teens ready for a mature read, not so much mature in content (though it is) but also mature (in the best sense) in its style.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
All the Truth That's In Me is a riveting read. The author's unconventional plotting, stylish prose and fully realized characters make this story compelling and hard to put down. Although this is a historical piece, the exact time period is never defined, providing just one of the many enigmatic elements of this plot. Still, the author completely creates a time and place that are real and vibrant with just a few well-placed sentences.

Judith tells a story that is at times horrifying as we bounce around on a timeline of events that include her abduction, maiming, and return. I quickly found myself fully invested in her story, raging against her mistreatment, becoming frustrated at random misunderstandings that seem to always get in her way, and celebrating with her small triumphs. Her resilience is astounding and her courage memorable.

There's a good mystery to be had in these pages that serves to complete what was a very enjoyable read. Young teens up to adults will all enjoy this story of a young woman struggling to find a future for herself while learning to cope with all the truths of her past
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By kacunnin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Julie Berry's ALL THE TRUTH THAT'S IN ME is an unconventional novel written in a series of diary-like musings. The diarist (or "muser") is Judith Finch, who disappeared when she was fourteen, was gone for two years, and then returned to her family maimed (her abductor cut out part of her tongue before he sent her home). Judith is an outcast when she returns home - her ruthless, icy mother is horrified by her attempts at speech and demands that she remain silent (thus everyone in the community believes she is dumb, and they treat her accordingly). The setting of the story is unclear - the things that happen and the way people speak suggest it takes place in the 17th or 18th century (but it could just as likely be taking place in an alternate universe!). Judith is madly in love with Lucas Whiting, who was her crush before she disappeared. When the novel begins, maimed, mute Judith is eighteen and has been home for two years, and twenty-two-year-old Lucas is engaged to another girl - but Judith is still in love with him. Judith's short introspective musings are often addressed to Lucas (i.e. "I watched your cabin as long as I could before I had to hurry back, lest Mother notice me missing" and "Do you remember me digging worms for you when you were twelve and I was eight?").

It's not easy to describe this novel. It is divided into sections called "Before," "After," and "Now," and the "After" section is divided into four "Books." In Book One, Judith laments her missing years, she secretly mourns Lucas's engagement to Maria, and when war breaks out with the so-called "homelanders" (this is not explained), she channels Joan of Arc and tries to sacrifice herself to help Lucas and the other men who have gone to fight.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Justice Pirate on May 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book was so interesting and mysterious. Judith comes back to her hometown after being hidden away in the woods. No one seems to pay her much mind or bothers to talk to her because she is missing half of her tongue. She holds so many secrets and as we read this book, her story unfolds. Her own mother seems to hate her. On top of everything the boy she grew up loving is engaged to be married. Everything seems to go against her favor and perhaps running away from everyone would be the best answer for her life.

This story is set in a time period from over a hundred years ago, though I don't really think it was explained exactly when, but from the descriptions of much of the story, it is in Roswell Station, GA most likely during the Civil War or even earlier on, but probably in a small more confined town that is very concerned about obedience to God, though many of the people there seem to just be going through the motions while it means something to Judith.

Judith is talking to "You" throughout this book. It took me a while to understand who "You" was, but the narration was really unique and the chapters were very small in roman numerals on each page. It was basically a thought process of what Judith is thinking as if she is talking to this "You" who does get revealed early on.

The cover of the book was very misleading since the girl in it has a modern hairstyle and eyeliner on. Most of this story has Judith wearing a cap on her head and it is mentioned that her hair being down is a private thing. My sister-in-law let me borrow her book without telling me a thing about it. I did not know what to expect but I truly enjoyed this story a lot. I felt as if I could perfectly picture everything because of how it was written. I felt as if I was there myself, and for me, that doesn't always happen (and I read a lot, more than a book per week). This book was beautiful.
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