cover image The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

Leslie Connor. HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-249143-5

In this sensitively written novel, Connor (All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook) introduces a learning-disabled 12-year-old who will warm readers’ hearts and earn their respect with his honesty and compassion. Mason Buttle may have trouble spelling words and be slow to understand some things, but he knows how to be a good friend. Ever since his best friend and neighbor Benny died in an accident in the Buttles’ apple orchard, Lieutenant Baird of the police department has been badgering Mason with questions. Writing from Mason’s point of view (including journal entries he composes using a speak-and-write computer program), Connor paints a vivid picture of Mason’s world and the people who inhabit it: the grief-stricken grandmother and uncle who raise him, the neighborhood boys who torment him, and social worker Ms. Blinny, who provides a safe haven in her office. When Mason’s new friend Calvin goes missing, Lieutenant Baird returns with more questions for Mason. Poignant and suspenseful, Mason’s story crystallizes an adolescent boy’s joys and fears as he comes into his own. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Miriam Altshuler, DeFiore and Co. (Jan.) [/em]