“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ~C.S. Lewis
True (…sort of). Written by Katherine Hannigan. HarperCollins, c. 2012.
Reading Level: 440L
Synopsis: Delly, the main character in this story, is labeled as a trouble-maker. Trouble, and her brother, R.B., follow her everywhere she goes. She is about to hit rock bottom when a new kid comes to town. Soon Delly finds a purpose for behaving. This story is cleverly written, yet its messages about child abuse, selective mutism, labeling, and friendship are clear.
Rationale for classroom use: This young reader novel would work great for literature circles, silent sustained reading, or read-alouds. The way Hannigan creates original vocabulary by combining words brings great conversation in the classroom and/or reading groups. For example, Delly uses the word “surpresent” that combines both “surprise” and “present.” There are also sensitive issues that make for good discussion among students but may be more meaningful with the input of the teacher. Would suggest use with grades 2-5.
Common Core Connection: Reading literature standards that integrate knowledge and ideas with the characters and theme of the story.