True... Sort of by Katherine Hannigan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
11-year old Delly is considered a bad kid by her family and teachers because of her behavior--but she doesn't really understand what is so bad about what she does. For example, if the weather is too nice to miss during the day, she simply skips school; when she sees a canoe on the river that she wants to ride in, she just takes it. Is that so wrong? She just understand doesn't why everyone calls her a bad kid...and hearing it over and over again starts to make her think she is a bad person through and through.
Things change when a new girl named Ferris Boyd arrives in town--she doesn't speak and won't let anyone touch her. Delly takes an immediate interest in her and decides that she wants to be her friend. She, Ferris, and Delly's younger brother R.B. end up spending a lot of time together in a tree house in the woods near Ferris's house. Being around timid Ferris and sweet R.B. help to make Delly more aware of her actions and the effects her actions have on others, and she starts to be not as much as a trouble kid as she was before.
I have to say that I didn't enjoy this book at all. As I listened to it, I knew that this was going to make it onto a list somewhere (themes of: 'bad kid' main character on a road to self-discovery, sibling rivalry/sibling love, making new friends/learning to get along with others, troubled friend with a troubled homelife, etc.)...but it's not that good! The first thing that struck me was Delly's ridiculous made-up vocabulary--some might find it charming, but I found it extremely irritating. I also didn't find Delly all that likable; she's bossy, acts before she thinks, and is wild. Finally, the fact that Ferris doesn't speak and the fact that animals seem to magically flock to her might appear to be related to an unsuspecting young reader. Even the ending of the book is unrealistic! I haven't read anything else by Katherine Hannigan, but I think I'll stay away from the rest of her books.
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