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The Truth of Me Hardcover – June 25, 2013
The Battle of the Vegetables
Leeks who believe a cow is one of Santa’s reindeer, carrots who accept an invitation to a party given by rabbits, and a leek and carrot couple whose romance precipitates total vegetable warfare are the hapless protagonists in these satiric, snarky stories. Hardcover
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From School Library Journal
More About the Author
In Her Own Words..."One thing I've learned with age and parenting is that life comes in circles. Recently, I was having a bad time writing. I felt disconnected. I had moved to a new home and didn't feel grounded. The house, the land was unfamiliar to me. There was no garden yet. Why had I sold my old comfortable 1793 home? The one with the snakes in the basement, mice everywhere, no closets. I would miss the cold winter air that came in through the electrical sockets."
"I had to go this day to talk to a fourth-grade class, and I banged around the house, complaining. Hard to believe, since I am so mild mannered and pleasant, isn't it? What did I have to say to them? I thought what I always think when I enter a room of children. What do I know?"
"I plunged down the hillside and into town, where a group of fourth-grade children waited for me in the library, freshly scrubbed, expectant. Should I be surprised that what usually happens did so? We began to talk about place, our living landscapes. And I showed them my little bag of prairie dirt from where I was born. Quite simply, we never got off the subject of place. Should I have been so surprised that these young children were so concerned with place, or with the lack of it, their displacement? Five children were foster children, disconnected from their homes. One little boy's house had burned down, everything gone. 'Photographs, too,' he said sadly. Another told me that he was moving the next day to place he'd never been. I turned and saw the librarian, tears coming down her face."
"'You know,' I said. 'Maybe I should take this bag of prairie dirt and toss it into my new yard. I'll never live on the prairie again. I live here now. The two places could mix together that way!' 'No!' cried a boy from the back. 'Maybe the prairie dirt will blow away!' And then a little girl raised her hand. 'I think you should put that prairie dirt in a glass bowl in your window so that when you write you can see it all the time. So you can always see what you knew first.'"
"When I left the library, I went home to write. What You Know First owes much to the children of the Jackson Street School: the ones who love place and will never leave it, the ones who lost everything and have to begin again. I hope for them life comes in circles, too."
Top Customer Reviews
He also spends time thinking about who he is. What is the "truth of me." Is it okay to want to be like his grandmother, who is a little wacky? Is it okay to want more from his mom? This story stuck with me, and all I'd say is missing is more, though it truly is a full story that didn't feel rushed.
Strengths: As always, MacLachlan creates a main character that is easy to relate to and empathize with. Robbie is a sweet kid that I couldn't help caring about. Maddy is a free spirit that made me smile. The book's gentle tone makes for a story of discovery and light adventure. Quiet, shy readers are bound to find much here to enjoy.
Weaknesses: A lot of child readers prefer more excitement in the books they read.
Overall, a sweet and thoughtful read for the more thoughtful reader.
Katherine Tegen Books, 2013 (8/6/13)
Recommended for grades 3-5
Sure, with its length, white space and large text size this book looks like an easy read, accesible to second graders and third graders. But when you begin discovering the tone and themes of the story it is easy to realize that this book shouldn't be wasted at too young an age. Just because they can read the words does not mean they are understanding the story, we know that :)
Written in short, simple sentences, first person narrator, Jack, unpacks his feelings on being overlooked by his musician mother for the majority of his life. When Jack spends part of the summer with his grandmother he is given clues as to why his mother act as she does. (This doesn't explain why his father isn't winning any Father of the Year trophies, but we can let it slide.) Jack desperately needs to feel taken care of, staying with his grandmother he gets the opportunity to care for others, which proves to be just as important.
The cover might entice animal loving readers into what appears to be an outdoorsy story, and they will be disappointed if that is all they are looking for. Yes the wilderness and animals are within this short story, but this story of self discovery is much more than that, perhaps too much for some of the readers this will attract. But then there is the other side of this: perhaps young readers will pick it up and be amazed at what they can learn and understand when presented "big" ideas in a little package.
The Truth: There are few loving creatures on this planet that can compare to a dog.
Throughout my life I have read quite a few of Patricia MacLachlan's books. A great book that she wrote that I would recommend to everyone is Sarah, Plain, and Tall. I would also recommend people to read the sequels that follow. As a teenager I read Baby and The True Gift. Patricia MacLachlan is a great author for everyone. However, I found The Truth of Me to be rather depressing compared to her other books. It was well written, a short read, and the vocabulary is for children but it has some mature themes. When I started reading the book I saw that it was recommended for children between the ages of six years old and ten years old. Personally, I would not suggest children that age to read it. I feel that the lessons apply to teenagers and adults more than children. Another thing I did not like about this book is you do not know what happens next. Cliffhangers are good but there were too many cliffhangers by the time I finished reading. I would not recommend this book to others. Overall it was not one of her best books. As I said earlier I would suggest people to read Sarah, Plain, and Tall and the sequels but not The Truth of Me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought it was a fine story but not as compelling as I had hoped. I am looking for truly special books to share with children and this wasn't one of them.Published on January 9, 2014 by Jill