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Liar, Liar: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Deception


Liar, Liar: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Deception

Kevin doesn't distinguish to whom he lies, except for most girls because he doesn't talk to them much. And the girls he does lie to really don't count. Then at school one day, on his way to lunch, he falls in love with Tina and decides to do whatever it takes to get her to notice him. But he has rules for telling lies. His first rule: "Keep it simple."

His lies to classmates, teachers, friends and family create feelings of betrayal. His big whopper to his social studies project teammate Katie, whose "bossy yet whiny voice makes you want to stab pencils in your eardrums to make the noise stop," causes extra work on their class assignment.

Lying isn't Kevin's only talent. He's also smart, fascinated with military history, and good with numbers. But lying is his passion. He believes a good lie begins with an element of truth, can support any plan, and has humor and style. At home, Kevin's manipulation of the truth creates arguments between his mom and dad as well as his sister Sarah and brother Daniel. His deceptions at school cause him to get into major trouble. When he sees that withholding the truth can lead to damage and worsen a family crisis, he realizes that a good lie can turn on you --- and a good lie requires a great apology.

Can Kevin change his ways, admit what he has done, and accept the consequences for his actions and behavior? Or, in one of Kevin's favorite military acronyms, is he FUBAR: Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition?

LIAR, LIAR is a smart, funny and sweet work of fiction about families, friends and the importance of being truthful. With a deft hand and a light touch, award-winning author Gary Paulsen has crafted an entertaining story about the destructive power of lies, not only for those lied to, but also for the liar. His genuine, conversational style and realistic portrayal of a 14-year-old boy in the throes of puberty is right on the mark. Middle-grade readers, especially boys, should identify with Kevin, and the satisfying conclusion will touch even the most cynical reader. 

Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on March 8, 2011

Liar, Liar: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Deception
by Gary Paulsen

  • Publication Date: April 24, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling
  • ISBN-10: 0375866116
  • ISBN-13: 9780375866111