“My name is Theodora Grumman, and I am a liar.”
There. That’s all you need to be intrigued enough to pick up this book. Go get it!
The Book of One Hundred Truths is a great summer vacation book, because it takes place at the beach on summer vacation. Theodora, or Thea, is visiting her grandparents’ beach house in New Jersey. (That’s right, the Jersey Shore is a real place, like on MTV, only with REAL people. Please don’t watch that show, ever. Or anything else like it. Stay in school, kids, stay in school.) Thea arrives in New Jersey to discover that the beach house is already full of other relatives, and she has been assigned to share a room in the attic with her annoying little cousin. As it turns out, she is also nominated to be Jocelyn’s babysitter, much to her dismay. Jocelyn follows her around, talking a mile a minute and asking her 500 questions all day long. Ugh. This is not the quiet summer at the beach Thea had planned at all.
Jocelyn immediately spies Thea’s secret notebook and wants to know what it is about. (She’s a nosy 7-year-old, like most little sisters/cousins are. They are curious, they can’t help it. Be patient with them.) Anyway, back to the notebook! Right before she boards her airplane to New Jersey, Thea’s mom hands her a brand new notebook and tells her to write it in over the summer. Write down 100 things that are true, she says, and you might learn something about yourself. It turns out that Thea has a bit of a problem with being honest. She lies about everything, from tiny white lies to something bigger that has been bothering her for a while. Lies come in all colors, did you know? Meanwhile, some sort of lie is looming over the beach house, too, so she and Jocelyn make it their summer project to figure out what is happening…
Underneath the story about what is going on at the beach house, Thea is slowly revealing the story of how she lost her best friend. This part made me nervous in a Bridge to Terabithia kind of way. If you are a nervous reader, you’ll experience that here, too. You end up with two mysteries to solve as you read and eventually all of the threads come together, and without giving too much away, I can say that I was relieved at the conclusion. All in all, this is a great book about family and what it means to stick together. Read this book if you are part of a big family that drives you crazy, or read this book if you’re an only child (like Thea) who wishes for tons of cousins and shared vacations and traditions. It’s all good, for whatever you need to find out about yourself.
The Book of One Hundred Truths has an AR level of 4.2 and is worth 5 points.