Tall Tales

Karen Day, Author . Random/Lamb $15.99 (229p) ISBN 978-0-375-83773-9

A busive, 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)

Reviewed on: 05/14/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4178-2835-7
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-307-49820-5
Paperback - 229 pages - 978-0-375-83774-6
Library Binding - 229 pages - 978-0-375-93773-6
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