TALL TALES by Karen Day


Age Range: 10 - 13
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New town, new school, same old family problems. Twelve-year-old Meg is quietly hoping this time will be different since she’s tired of moving around from Michigan to Indiana so her alcoholic father can keep changing jobs. Unlike previous years, though, older brother Teddy is more combative with drunken Dad, risking emotional and physical abuse. Mother is struggling to find a job, while Meg’s made-up tall tales about her life and family are becoming more frequent. She begins to worry about being caught in all sorts of lies with her new friend, Grace, who struggles with the loss of her mother to cancer. Things go from bad to worse, as battered Mom and kids fear for their safety yet are afraid to seek help even when a broken arm sends red flags to everyone at the hospital. Meg’s personal emotional ordeal is well portrayed as the reader is allowed into her private confused thoughts. Day juxtaposes numerous themes and issues around two friends who live very differently, yet are burdened with powerful feelings of guilt and grief. Darkened days brighten for Meg and her family when help is finally accepted from responsible adults and a new friendship grows to a trusting and truthful relationship. Realistic, with an auspicious ending. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: May 8th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-375-83773-9
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2007


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