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Tall Tales

by Day, Karen


Syndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 9780375837739]

Book Review

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Publishers Weekly :

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Abusive, alcoholic fathers can be hard to hide from new friends, especially when they promise to stop drinking—and don't. Rather than spill family secrets, many family members sweep the problem under the rug, and invent excuses to explain odd behavior (or injuries). Twelve-year-old Meg has taken stretching the truth one step further. When pressed about her family by classmates at her new school, she makes up hyperbolic stories to take away the pressure. My family is from Australia... we lived in tents for the past three years; I caught malaria in India last summer. I was so sick I almost died. When she meets Grace, the two become fast friends and Meg worries that her lies—and the truth about her father—will get in the way of their friendship. But as her father's abuse continues and he decides to move the family once again, Meg, her mother and her siblings must decide if they can leave him. Day's debut novel tackles deep issues—abuse in the home, excessive lying to both peers and adults, and a lack of responsible role models—though the narrative can be choppy in sections (chapter length varies widely). Still, Day's account captures the intense tangle of emotions felt by family members who have been convinced that they are too powerless to stop abuse on their own. Ages 9-12. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

distributed by Syndetic Solutions, LLC.:
Syndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 9780375837739]

Book Review

:

School Library Journal :

Terms of Use:

Gr 4–7—Meg Summers is once again entering school as the new kid, and sixth grade in Lake Haven, IN, makes her feel just as lonely as she did on the previous moves. She wants a friend so badly that she begins fabricating stories to sound exciting and interesting. When she does make friends with Grace Bennett, one of the "peppy blond girls," her stories continue, this time to cover up her family's secret. Meg's father is an alcoholic and his binges are becoming more frequent and violent, especially since her older brother is fighting back. When Grace's stepmom drives Meg home after one of her many visits, they witness an altercation between Mr. Summers and Teddy in the driveway. Day uses the friendship between the girls and the strong adult support of Grace's family and a favorite aunt to pave the path Meg follows to trust others enough to finally tell the truth about her dad. "I've been telling the biggest tall tale of my life to myself." The author's portrayal of a family in crisis is convincingly tragic: "…it's not until mom hands him coffee that I see in his eyes how it will be today and how I should feel." Although there is no fairy-tale ending, the story is realistic and hopeful with discussable issues appropriate for a wide audience.—D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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