Thursday, January 24, 2008

Liar Liar- Barthe DeClements

This is an old book (copyright 1998) that I found when I was unpacking boxes from my move 18 months ago. Gretchen is a sixth grade girl; her mother and dad are divorced (one minor twist to the story is that she lives with her dad and her three brothers live with her mom), but basically pretty entrenched in typical sixth grade kinds of issues with friends and school. A new girl, Marybelle, moves to town. Marybelle tells a series of lies that creates major problems for Gretchen with her friends. 

This book isn't the best book I've ever read, nor is it the worst. I found it vaguely troubling, mostly because I know too many kids like Marybelle. She is new to town and is struggling to adjust, make friends, etc. On top of that, she comes from a fairly difficult home life. By the end of the book, the kids have basically ostracized her. Although Gretchen appears to have some level of discomfort with the situation, there doesn't seem to be much compassion or empathy or redemption for Marybelle. I feel badly for her, and for all of the other Marybelles I know…

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