THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMAN SCHOOL is a Page-Turner

Dear Reader,

I never expected The Truth About Truman School (March 2009) to be a page-turner, but its story of cyberbullying grabbed my attention from the beginning and it held me until the end. It showed how the noblest idea–a kid run website in which Truman Middle School students could state their opinions without threat of censorship–can go wrong when rules of use aren’t established–in this case, no bullying or gossip.

I think the book is a great means to show kids what can happen when they “put things out there” for the fun of it: their words can cause a chain reaction they can’t stop.

Author Dori Hillestad Butler convincingly allowed different characters to state their side of what happened. I think this is a fine way to teach without preaching. It’s written for readers 9-12.

Note: One reviewer complained the author clumsily wrote middle schoolers’ text messages. Actually, the kids were instant messaging. I wonder why the author didn’t use texting. Anyway. . .

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