Wednesday, September 14, 2011

True...(sort of) by Katherine Hannigan

Good day fair readers,
Today I have a mid-level chapter book for ages 9-12. Normally, as many of you know, I spread out my books to three days. But with chapter books, most often, I will simply take one day to introduce them, provide a simple activity to go with the book and a fun fact about the author all in one post. 

Today, I would like to introduce a wonderful read that I very much enjoyed:

Product Details from

  • Book: True... (sort of)
  • Author: Katherine Hannigan
  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 1 edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061968730

Book Description

True: Delly Pattison likes surpresents (presents that are a surprise). The day the Boyds come to town, Delly's sure a special surpresent is on its way. But lately, everything that she thinks will be good and fun turns into trouble. She's never needed a surpresent more than now.

True: Brud Kinney wants to play basketball like nothing anybody's ever seen. When the Boyds arrive, though, Brud meets someone who plays like nothing he's ever seen.

True: Ferris Boyd isn't like anyone Delly or Brud have ever met. Ferris is a real mysturiosity (an extremely curious mystery).

True: Katherine Hannigan's first novel since her acclaimed Ida B is a compelling look at the ways friendships and truths are discovered.

It's all true ( . . . sort of).

Queen's Adventure Ideas:

At the back of the book, author Katherine Hannigan provides a Delly Dictionary to explain some of her crazy words such as surpresents (which are presents that are a surprise, of course) or bugbotherer (my favorite) which is someone who bugs or bothers another person. 

Delly has made up her own special dictionary. We wont discuss the "Nocussictionary" of words to say instead of bad words. 

I challenge you young readers to come up with your own special vocabulary and put them into your own person dictionary. Use your name and see how it can be incorporated into a new special word like Delly did with her adventures, calling them "Dellyventures." 

Facing the Truth:
Hannigan deals with some hard truths in this book, but keeps the story light with Delly's antics and the folksy dialect. Delly is one of those kids that can't stay out of trouble. We see them all around us at school. I like how this book really digs down into Delly's thinking. Sometimes, as an adult, it was hard to read. But I truly believe a kid will get it. The thoughts Delly has will resonate with them. 

The story also deals with child abuse. You don't really know until the very end what's going on. But the suspicion that something isn't right. When Delly says it, you find yourself nodding in agreement. Ferris Boyd is untouchable, an outsider living in quiet. She, who looks like a he at first, lives in a world of silence. Yet between Ferris and Delly's brother RB, teach her to conquer her anger by counting, and by asking permission first. This turns Delly's would upside down.

The Queen encourages her readers to look around you. The silent, misunderstood. The troublemakers. There's something going on down deep inside. Have you ever met such people? Write about your experience. What do you think might have been going on under all the anger? Behind the silence? How are some ways you can reach out in kindness? Just something to think about. 

Author Katherine Hannigan:
From Publisher's site:
Katherine Hannigan's first novel, Ida B . . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the Worldwas a New York Times bestseller, a Book Sense bestseller, and a Parents' Choice Gold Award winner, and it appeared on more than twenty-five state award lists. She is also the author of a picture book called Emmaline and the Bunny and the novel True (. . . Sort Of).
She (and several wild rabbits) live at the edge of a meadow in northeastern Iowa.

Read the Author interview with Hannigan about her book Ida B. 
Listen to this video where Hannigan talks about how she developed her story, True...sort of

Happy Reading,
The Queen

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