Saturday, April 18, 2015

Book Review: The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart

Mark has been dealt a crap hand in life. At twelve, he's already beaten cancer multiple times. And yet it's back. Again. So he decides to take matters into his own hands. He knows what he wants to do is crazy, but he promised his grandfather right before he died that he'd climb Mt. Ranier. And now that Mark sees his own death as imminent, this last wish strikes a new chord in him of necessity. So he sets off with a plan, some cash, his dog Beau, and his camera. Naturally, things don't go according to plans.

Meanwhile, back at home, his best friend Jessie is worried that she might know where he's gone. She's torn, not knowing what is the right thing to do: to tell or not to tell. To betray him, who might need to be betrayed, or to keep her word and possibly regret it for the rest of her life. His parents are understandably going through hell, but Jessie's loyalty is to Mark.

Through alternating chapters and occasional haiku, both Mark and Jessie's stories are told and we see this decision through very different eyes. Dealing with grief isn't just a struggle for the survivors. This is a book that will stand the test of time to sit alongside classics such as Bridge to Terebithia. It's a beautiful story of friendship, love, loss, loyalty, a great dog, and seeing that we're never truly alone in our struggles.

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.

I got this book for free at a Scholastic-sponsored cocktail party at Winter Institute.

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