The Truth about Truman School
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The Truth about Truman School

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  597 ratings  ·  137 reviews

When Zebby and Amr create the website, they want it to be honest. They want it to be about the real Truman Middle School, to say things that the school newspaper would never say.

Hardcover, 170 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Albert Whitman & Company
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38th out of 122 books — 112 voters
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The Truth about Truman School was a total surprise.

I bought the book at the school's Book Fair for two reasons. It was marked $2.50 (and well within my budget) and the back cover said that it was about teens who decide to tell the truth about life in middle school, not the expurgated lies adults revel in.

Hint: When you get "nothing" as an answer to "what did you do at school today," you have been given the adult-appropriate response. There really are things you don't want to know about your tee...more
Adam James
I read The Truth About Truman School because of my middle school's librarian desire to use it as a school-wide text. Unfortunately, I couldn't whole-heartedly offer my support of the novel. While it is a very (very) realistic and bold look at the ramifications of cyber-bullying, the extent of the bullying is too intense for younger middle school readers. Specifically, the inclusion of the gay-bashing in the cyber-bullying is used gratuitously for pure shock value and harshness. Dori Hillestad Bu...more
Middle school can definitely be a challenge with kids learning more about who they are and defining their place in society. That is really the truth, but it takes the adventures of a group of tweens at Truman Middle school somewhere in the American Midwest to show how troublesome that can really be.

Zebby has hopes of becoming a newspaper correspondent when she grows up, but after she is limited by the faculty advisor of the school newspaper, she decides to team up with her best friend Amr to sta...more
This book is about a book middle schoolers who start a website about their school and the truth of their school. The point of view is from many students. The An anonymous person named milkandhoney starts step by step trying to take down one of the popular girls named Lilly Clarke, who dumped Zebby Bower and Amr Nasir, creators of the Truth about Truman website. After many cyberbullying incidents, Lilly goes missing. I suggest if you want to read the book to find out what happens, then read the b...more
High appeal for tweeners here. Two friends, a brainy girl and a computer geek guy, put up a web site intended to go the boring school newspaper one better by telling "the truth." Too bad the apathetic students find it a big yawn -- until someone uses it to go after a girl in the popular crowd by posting pictures of when she was fat and announcing that she is a lesbian. Now THAT'S an interesting paper, to a middle schooler (uh, as long as none of the nastiness is directed at them).

While not terri...more
I read this book in one go, simply couldn't put it down. Two students who are tired of the censorship of their contributions to the school newspaper decide to set up a forum in the form of a website to allow students to voice their opinions freely. Little do they know that when "given the chance, some people will say anything. Anything to hurt someone else...". The situation quickly gets out of hand and allows no one to emerge untouched. A thought-provoking account of cyber-bullying, told from m...more
The joys of teaching middle school extend to the gimmicks to get kids to read. For me, back in the day, a good old Hardy Boys mystery did the trick, but nowadays we have things like One School One Book promos. A committee of teachers and well-intent select a book for everyone to engage with and discuss, usually with a typical middle school theme. The Truth About Truman School had its number called this year. And while the cyberbullying theme is certainly relevant with teens these days, I found i...more
This is an excellent book on cyberbullying, and on the concept of bullying in general. I found it almost impossible to put down and the ending, when the main characters come to realize what bullying is and how it can hurt, is very touching indeed. I like that it's set in middle school, because I think in many ways (well, at least for me and for my kids) middle school is socially the hardest time of your life. It was also interesting to read this on the heels of Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes -...more
Zebby and Amr only start the website because Zebby wants a place where she and others can write articles about things that really matter to the school and its students--like pointless school rules, bullying, curriculum changes--without the newspaper faculty advisor shooting them down. Soon, though, someone uses it to target a former friend of Zebby and Amr's who has become a popular mean girl. From the viewpoints of multiple students who became involved, writing after the fact, the story unrolls...more
Josie M.
At the end of this book I had pretty much made up my mind that I didn't like it, but then as I got to thinking more about it I realized how good it actually was, and in a way genius. Many things that I thought were problems in this book while reading turned out to actually be positives after I put more thought into it.
First you should know that this book is told through multiple points of view, and at first it is overwhelming because you are reading a from so many different viewpoints that are...more
The Truth about Truman School is about two kids name Zebby and Amr. They start a website that is about their school. is a website that's supposed to be all true things about Truman middle school. At first their website is going perfect, it's popular, it's funny, and everyone wants to go on it. But then a mysterious anonymous person called milk honey starts putting mean things about this girl named Lilly.

I really liked this book! It was both funny and kinda sad at times...more
Oct 23, 2008 Marta rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Okay, I'm sure for some kid out there, this book will be what they are waiting for. For me, the author's agenda to promote responsibility in internet use and freedom of speech was just too transparent. The characters were very fake and did things that didn't even make sense to me. I really did not like the read... at all.
This book is about Trevor, a boy in Truman Middle School. Trevor had always wanted to get revenge against Lilly after she had made a mean joke about his mother dying. Trevor wouldn't have wanted to get revenge if his mother hadn't actually died 2 days after she said that. But when someone creates a newspaper website online, he finally has the chance to get revenge anonymously. So he starts sending anonymous emails to Lilly, and tries to ruin her life. Then he finally gets revenge, because everyo...more
Jamie L
Very good! You never know who people really are until you get to know them!
When I first looked at this book, I thought this would be one of those "ordinary teen" books where the characters are boring and unreal but to my surprise it was really realistic and dealed with issues we face every day and what would happen if they went too far. Cruel people can hurt anyone, and this was a good book because finally a popular girl is put as a victim (Thank You!) and it is shown very realisticly. I don't understand the covers though, did the author think it would help if she put...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great treatment of cyberbullying...timely, pertinent, April 22, 2009

This review is from: The Truth about Truman School (Paperback) YA FICTION

I'd highly recommend this book to all middle school students. Although it's written for this younger group, high school students could take a page or two from the novel as well.

The topics of cyberbullying and online harassment are very pertinent in today's world of social networking sites, instant messaging, texting and other types of in...more
Jill Rogan
Mar 26, 2012 Jill Rogan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Middle school students and staff
Butler's novel about bullying in middle school is so very close to the truth. From cyberbullying to flat out name calling, Butler offers an unflattering, yet true-to-life, view of middle school social trends. More to the point, Butler focuses on how cruel, self-centered, and uncaring many pre-teens and teens are. Butler also includes the fact that many adults either deny that such hatred occurs or blindly ignore bullying by looking the other way.

The novel's unique format will appeal to young adu...more
Sam Kobberdahl
In this book, two best friends names Amr and Zebby decide to make their own website. The website is supposed to be like a school newspaper where anyone can write nabout their own middle school experience at Truman Middle school. They named the website On the truth about truman you can do things like, vote for the worst teacher, how the sports teams are doing, what kind of ciriculum they are using and ect... What Zebby and Amr wanted the website too be was a place where...more
6th Grade Honors Language Arts Class
, Amber
January 23rd 2012
5th period
Truth About Truman School
By: Dori Hillestad Buttler

As she walks through school with the laughing stock knowing she’s been bullied. She’s been called names people shouldn’t have called her. “Lilly Clarke popular girl is a lezbo along with her friends”. Lilly Clarke is a pig, she was fat. She had no friends.
This was called cyber bully.
The Truth about Truman School by: Dori Hillestad Butler is realistic fiction, this means that it is not a true story but it...more
Deanna P
The Truth About Truman School
By: Dori Hillestad Butler
I don't think I have ever felt so bad for a character in a book before. This is by far the best realistic fiction book I have ever read in my life. The book, The Truth About Truman, is a book about middle school students Amr, Zebby, Lilly, Hayley, Trevor, and Brianna. Hayley and Brianna are the bullies to Lilly in this story. This book was as powerful as lightning.
Amr and Zebby make a Truth About Truman website. They set up this website so t...more
Eliseo P
Truth About Truman
By Dori Hillestad Butler
I think this book is one of the most Incredible books I have ever read next to the Mokingjay and The Tale Dark And Grim. Its all about this girl named Zebby Bower and her friend Amr and they want to make their own school newspaper because at school every thing doesn't make people want to read so they create and make it a free website for every one to post or comment what ever they want and when ever they want but first they need t...more
Daniel C

The Truth About Truman Middle School
Author: Dori Hillestad Butler
The Truth About Truman School is a very terrifying book for pre-teens and especially for high schoolers or middle schoolers or anyone! This book really made me kneel over and cry for all the victims of cyberbullying. I never knew that kids today can be so mean right behind the backs of teachers and some soon to be cyber bullied kids!
This heartbreaking story is about two unnoticing kids named Amr and Zebby that created a website to...more
Jonathan R
Truth About Truman School
By: Dori Hillestad Butler

What if you made your own website? What if you were made fun of because of one lie? This is how, Zebby Bower, Amr, and Lilly Clarke survive Truman Middle School. This author made this book so realistic to how a middle schoolers life would be like. Also, the characters show how some of the kids would be and act in school. This book also is how the bullying in the middle schools would be like.
Meet Zebby Bower and her best friend Amr. They worked fo...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

Disenchanted with the censorship of their school paper, Zebby resigns as editor. Complaining to her best friend, Amr, the two decide to create a web page. If the school paper won't print the hard-hitting articles that Zebby wants written, then they will create an Internet paper.

And so, is born.

They soon realize that unless the popular kids start talking about it, no one will bother with the web site. So with some creativity, Ze...more
Truman Middle School has a student newspaper, however the staff advisor seems to be censoring the articles. Zebby quits as editor of the newspaper and decides to create an online newspaper with her friend Amr. They have two rules: “Rule#1: Whatever you post had to be an original work,” and Rule #2: “Whatever you post had to be the truth. The truth about our school as you see it.” Zebby and Amr do not want to censor anything posted. The website,, takes on a life of its’ own....more
Jul 03, 2008 Sarah rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 6-8 grade
Recommended to Sarah by: 7/8 list
Zebby is sick and tired of getting her stories censored when she writes for the school paper at Truman Middle School, so she decides to quit. After talking about it to her best friend Amr, they decide to start an underground newspaper—only theirs will be online!

Their online newspaper, called The Truth About Truman School, is supposed to be a place where students can post stories or feelings about school issues—as long as what they put on there is true. Zebby tells herself and Amr that they are n...more
Frustrated with the limitations of her school newspaper, Zebby, an 8th grader who aspires to be a serious journalist, recruits her tech-savvy best bud (Amr)to help her start an online newspaper wholly dedicated to free and honest expression. But when one student decides to use the website as a forum to harass a peer, everything spirals out of control. The page-turning and suspenseful story, which touches upon obesity, popularity, and homosexuality, unfolds from multiple perspectives as various t...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Green Elephant Girl ™ {❤️Insert deep song lyric here❤️}  ♫ I ❤️ TFIOS 5EVER ✯✯ #EVERYONE SHORTEN YOUR GODDAMN USERNAMES ALREADY THIS IS RIDICULOUS
Apr 02, 2014 Green Elephant Girl ™ {❤️Insert deep song lyric here❤️} ♫ I ❤️ TFIOS 5EVER ✯✯ #EVERYONE SHORTEN YOUR GODDAMN USERNAMES ALREADY THIS IS RIDICULOUS rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 10 and up.
Recommended to Green Elephant Girl ™ {❤️Insert deep song lyric here❤️} ♫ I ❤️ TFIOS 5EVER ✯✯ #EVERYONE SHORTEN YOUR GODDAMN USERNAMES ALREADY THIS IS RIDICULOUS by: Goodreads
I'll write this before the details of this book have slipped out of my head. Because I am unable to create a coherent review most of the time, I'll do what comes more easily to me- a list.
1)Zebby and Amr didn't delete the horrible messages.
2)Hayley and her b*tchy friends didn't care more when (view spoiler).
3)Why was milkandhoney (view spoiler). Why?! I mean, I get that he/she/they had a really good r...more
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Dori Hillestad Butler grew up writing, for she had no brothers or sisters to play with until she was eight years old. The first book she published was The Great Tooth Fairy Rip-Off , it took her many years to sell that book, followed by four more picture books. She then started writing YA books short stories have appeared in anthologies entitled, The Green Umbrella and Other Sports Stories (Highl...more
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“The person you are when no one's looking, or when no one else knows who you are...that's the person you really are!” 6 likes
“I'd much rather have a brain of my own than be popular.” 4 likes
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