Skip to main content

True (...Sort Of)

Review

True (...Sort Of)

True: TRUE (...SORT OF) is a great book for kids. True: TRUE is the latest from bestselling author Katherine Hannigan. True: TRUE should find a home in each and every kid's beach reading basket this summer. True: TRUE is an entertaining, well-written and moving look at young friendships and the personal truths that each of us live by every day of our lives.

"Delly Pattison was trouble: little trouble on the way to BIG trouble and getting closer to it everyday." So goes Hannigan's introduction to protagonist Delly, a young girl who looks forward to the spontaneous arrival of what she likes to call "surpresents" (surprise presents that come totally unexpectedly). Some recent turns of fate in her life seem to be pointing to bad times ahead, but a new family in town may hold the key to changing all that negativity into positivity instead.

Hannigan has a kid-friendly way not only with characters but also with verbiage. In fact, there are plenty of unique words that make kids take notice double quick, like "dellyventures" (Delly's adventures, which seem to require their own definition) and "lugdraggerers" (you'll have to read the book to figure this one out!) Hannigan's attempts are all successful, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some of these terms make their way into our lexicon for good.

The interactions among the characters read like a Preston Sturges story --- the names, the attitudes and the situations are all wacky and funny, but underneath reveal a deeper and more heartfelt look at the world of kids and their social associations. Delly's eccentricities, her "dellyventures," have no fans in her school, so there are some serious obstacles to overcome. But just because an adult doesn't really get what she's doing, is she really trouble? Or is she just a true original?

TRUE (...SORT OF) engages readers with fun and lively language, short chapters and constant excitement, as well as worry about the main characters and the morass that Delly drags them all into at various points in the book. However, even though the kids know they all need to stay out of trouble in school, Delly's unbridled enthusiasm for life keeps them coming back for more. And then she meets Ferris Boyd, a new recruit to town, a young girl who is a mystery to the other kids but who finds a kinship with Delly that turns the novel on its head.

From the adorable trim size to the beautiful cover art to the crazy, fun characters and events, TRUE (...SORT OF) is the kind of book that all kids will enjoy, regardless of reading level or life experience thus far. It looks at the adventurous spirit of childhood through the eyes of an exciting and hilarious new icon of kids' lit. I hope Delly finds her way back to us in another book.

Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on April 24, 2012

True (...Sort Of)
by Katherine Hannigan

  • Publication Date: April 24, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books
  • ISBN-10: 0061968757
  • ISBN-13: 9780061968754