“Ms. Blinny takes tiny running steps in place. Happy boots. I like the way she is, Ms. Blinny. How she spills things and doesn’t wait for paint to dry.” -Leslie Conner, The Truth As Told by Mason Buttle.
This week: The Truth As Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor.
Let me first start off by saying that I didn’t want to read this book. I didn’t. If I’m going to invest a week of my free time I want adventure, I want dragons and aliens, not orchards and social workers.
So, this book was GUILTY until proven innocent, and believe me, I tried to prove it guilty. I tried to find the part that was too campy or the character too unbelievable or annoying that merited the book a skip and a trip back to the library. I tried.
I failed. The characters wrapped me in their world like a silk-slinging spider and I enjoyed every moment of it!
The book takes place in a small red-white-and-blue town that is still reeling from the accidental death of a 12-year-old boy. Let me stop you right there. No, this isn’t a mystery story, though it has certain elements of a mystery. It’s an emotionally griping tale of a sweaty 13-year-old (Mason) as he navigates the death of his best friend.
Does that sound boring? It isn’t.
Fine, the ending was telegraphed, but knowing it didn’t prevent me from tearing up as I read the last 20 pages. This story’s magic is in its characters. I know each of them. I can see them. I can smell them. I want to go over to their rundown house and have breakfast with them. Mason happens to be one of the most lovable characters in fiction, and so is Moonie the dog!
Seriously. Read it. I DEFY you not to fall in love with Mason Buttle!
Who is this book for?
Kids and adults who love endearing characters, lovable dogs, and small-town USA. Anyone who is a paraeducator, teacher, social worker, or who just loves Hallmark movies. You’ll eat it up!
Disclaimer: part of the magic of this book is the perspective of Mason who isn’t exactly articulate. The story is written in (predominately) fragmented sentences. If you are a member of the grammar police just turn in your badge before you open the book. It’s worth it. Trust me.
Rating: 8/10 (I’m taking off two points because the ending was predictable)
Content Rating: PG. No graphic violence. No sex. No innuendos (which for a book about pre-teen boys is a big deal). No cursing… wait, the uncle does say darn [but the real word].
Age suggestion: 11-15 (but honestly I think that any adult working at a school or invested in the lives of young people would adore this book)
Questionable Content: None.
Have a book you want me to review? Post it in the comments!