ALICE DODD AND THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH by Catherine Frey Murphy

ALICE DODD AND THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH

Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Alice, 12, has been asked to care for little cousin Amy at Aunt Kate's summer home while her aunt paints. Almost immediately upon arrival, Alice tells a lie--a relatively innocent one, intended only to make her seem more interesting, but it leads to another, and then to more lies to cover them up.... The cumulative weight of these lies bears down intolerably on Alice (and the reader). At last, after Amy is lost in a storm (and found), Alice finds release by confessing her deceptions to Aunt Kate, her grandmother, and the neighbors, and discovers that they accept the person she really is; she also realizes that she's glad to be herself. Poor Alice seems a bit young and inexperienced to be spending so much time caring for Amy; she also seems horribly preoccupied by her lying. One wonders what she thinks will happen if her aunt finds out she didn't win second place in a school art contest, or if the eccentric elderly neighbor finds out she's pushing the planchette on the Ouija board. Why does such morbid dread afflict the child? This debut has some glimmers of promise, but it's an uncomfortable read, despite the happy end. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: May 31st, 1993
ISBN: 0-02-767702-8
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1993