NOTES FROM A LIAR AND HER DOG
Gennifer Choldenko, , read by Ariadne Meyers. . Listening Library, $25 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8072-0434-4
The confident and youthful sounding Meyers is a solid choice as Antonia "Ant" McPherson, an embittered, smart-mouthed 12-year-old girl who hides her pain behind a constantly growing web of bold-faced lies. Ant, the middle McPherson child, is a challenge, nothing like her agreeable, perfect sisters "Your Highness Elizabeth" and "Katherine the Great." As such, Ant's exasperated parents treat her differently. The result is a sense of alienation so strong that Ant takes comfort in the fantasy that she is adopted and that her real parents will soon show up and take her to her real home. While she's waiting, she relates only to her best friend Harrison, a budding artist, and her beloved, aging dog Pistachio, instead of wasting her time, or the truth about her feelings, on "people who don't understand." But Ant and Harrison's young new art teacher at school, "Just Carol," sees beyond Ant's lies and reaches out to the fragile girl beneath the bravado. Carol's efforts help Ant and her family begin to work things out. Meyers nails Ant's blend of pain and posturing but is less successful taking on the supporting roles, which are exaggerated and not nearly as convincing. Ages 10-14.
Reviewed on: 08/06/2001