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The Truth Out There Hardcover – October 1, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-10-Josh, 13, and his mother, Joanna, are spending part of the summer at the village home of Josh's ailing grandmother. At first, the boy is sorry to leave London and his friends, but he soon becomes involved in a quest to learn more about his late uncle Patrick, who died when he was Josh's age. The family refuses to speak of Patrick, but Josh and Katherine, the 16-year-old next door, accidentally stumble upon a memoir that Joanna is writing. As the teens learn more about her childhood and those of her siblings, they begin to notice an unmistakable parallel between the tragic events of the past and a futuristic computer game that they are playing. They eventually discover that Patrick had a condition similar to autism and was committed to an institution by his father. Josh is able to help his mother and uncle come to terms with their brother's illness and be reunited with Patrick, who is in fact alive and living nearby. Rees does a marvelous job of injecting an atmosphere of mystery and uncertainty into the novel from the beginning. Dialogue, plot, and characters are notable for their authenticity and originality, yet the descriptive sentences are sometimes awkward and read more like detailed notes than coherent passages. The cover art, although eye-catching, is misleading as it shows a young Patrick confronting what appears to be an alien, and it may repel teens in search of realistic fiction. An original, intelligent novel from a fresh voice in YA literature.
Leah J. Sparks, Bowie Public Library, MD
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-7. Rees weaves together two stories that take place a generation apart. In one, a modern British teenager, Josh, who loves computer games, pries into skeletons in his family's closet. The second concerns Josh's mother's dysfunctional family at the dawn of the Space Age, especially two brothers: one fascinated by aliens; the other, Patrick, having a condition (actually a form of autism) not understood at the time. When tragedy shatters the neighborhood, strange Patrick is blamed and sent to an institution where he is said to have died. When Josh recognizes elements in his newest computer game that only Patrick could have created, the two stories come together. Readers expecting aliens will be disappointed, and the opening chapters are slow going. The convoluted mystery is filled with family drama, however, and the British perspective on the space race, Roswell, etc., is intriguing. Teens who liked Dennis Haseley's Getting Him (1994), a less complex novel with a similar setting and themes, may want to give this a go. Catherine Andronik
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: DK CHILDREN; 1st edition (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789426684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789426680
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,480,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By BeatleBangs1964 VINE VOICE on March 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Joshua Parker, 13 is not anticipating the summer of 1998. His maternal grandmother is near death and he does not relish the thought of spending the summer in her house instead of home. Joshua's mother insists he join her on this mission as Joshua's older sister Maggie and father have prior commitments.

Joshua literally walks into a house of secrets. He learns that he had an uncle named Patrick who supposedly died the late summer of 1959. His Uncle Paul and mother Joanna have little information to share about this mysterious uncle. Joshua however discovers a box and a trail of clues. He finds a series of old comics drawn by his uncle; he finds a crawl space in the attic where his uncle liked to get away from it all. From a series of enigmatic notebooks and brilliantly crafted drawings, Joshua learns that this mysterious uncle was an avid astronomer and had a keen interest in anything to do with UFOs.

More clues come from a computer game Joshua receives as a gift and also on files chronicling the summer of 1959 on Joanna's computer. Enlisting the help of a neighbor girl, the pair unravel a series of interlocking clues that lead them to...Joshua's uncle!

This is a wonderful book that incorporates several genres. It is a delightful, brilliantly written novel that is part mystery, part science fiction and horror. I also like the way the author gives an excellent definition of Asperger's Syndrome and the affect AS has on behavior; communication and sensory responses/processing, as was evidenced in Joshua's Uncle Patrick and his paternal grandfather. Indeed, many of the behaviors the grandfather was reported as having fit on the autism/Asperger's (a/A) spectrum.
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Format: Hardcover
Josh doesn't want to go to his Grandmother's house with his mother. He doesn't wasn't to spend his summer holidays away from his friends in a stuffy old house. But he has no choice, and, while his mother is busy looking after his grandmother, he has to entertain himself.
The book follows two stories - the story of Josh's summer, with a new friendship and his Grandmother's illness to deal with - and the story of Josh's Uncle Patrick, whose death is a mystery Josh slowly uncovers.
This is an excellent read for 12 to 15 year olds.
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Format: Hardcover
this was a great book the ending which i wont realive here is totaly differnt the i expected. the chacter with aspergers seems very rralstic you can tell the author study the disorder befrore she wrote the book,
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