True (. . . Sort Of)
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True (. . . Sort Of)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  2,942 ratings  ·  536 reviews
True: Delly Pattison likes surpresents (presents that are a surprise). The day the Boyds come to town, Delly's sure a special surpresent is on its way. But lately, everything that she thinks will be good and fun turns into trouble. She's never needed a surpresent more than now.

True: Brud Kinney wants to play basketball like nothing anybody's ever seen. When the Boyds arriv...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Greenwillow Books
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Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtA Monster Calls by Patrick NessWonderstruck by Brian SelznickDivergent by Veronica RothInside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Newbery 2012
16th out of 167 books — 675 voters
Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtTrue by Katherine HanniganDivergent by Veronica RothWonderstruck by Brian SelznickBreadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
DCL Mock Newbery 2012
2nd out of 41 books — 33 voters

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Community Reviews

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Reread in 2014. Still one of my all time favorite read alouds. Ever.

Reread in 2013. So this is on hold because I didn't finish the book to my class ( sob) because I moved rooms. And I forgot to bring the book home. And I can't find it now.
I FOUND THE BOOK! Filled me with warmth just as much as the first time!

Original review: Happy Hallelujah! One of THE best books I have ever read. It's about a girl, who's a troublemaker, and another girl, who is mute, and a boy, who loves to play basketball, a...more
Susan Dove Lempke
Katherine Hannigan takes risks that I admire a lot. She allows her child characters to behave like real people, with the kind of honest emotions that aren't always endearing. IdaB was allowed to feel true rage at her circumstances, and to not get over it quickly. Delly, in this book, is allowed to be defensive and quarrelsome, and to deliberately wear blinders where her friend's trouble is concerned. And yet Hannigan does such a good job of getting inside her characters that you understand them...more
Other than the fact that I really didn't like the use of "noncuss" words that really sounded like cuss words (bawlgrammit instead of GD, for instance), I loved this book! Delly is a sweet girl with a quick temper and too many temptations to be naughty or mean. After she begins to make a concsious effort to control her temper, life begins to change for the better, she begins to see other people, their flaws, their needs, and their greatness. True was a story that made me smile, cringe, cry, and c...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I did not rate this because certain devices Katherine used bugged me enough to not enjoy reading the book, I suspect though, that those same bits that I did not like will charm others.
At the same time, the story is great, the characterizations lovely and the plot important and meaningful.
I would recommend the book highly to fans of Ida B. It might even work as a classroom read aloud. Schools using the Cornerstone model will like this tale of friendship. Our hearts go out to the characters and...more
Marly Natherson
I just finished this book, and I want so badly to write a review right now so that someone will read it and immediately start reading TRUE. That's how much I everyone to read it.

I can't articulate my thoughts yet, though. More to come.
Hafsah Laziaf
Review written by my 10 year old sister for IceyTween

There’s a new kid in Delly Pattison’s class. She thinks the kid's a boy but she doesn’t know for sure. Once Delly figures out the new kid’s name, Ferris Boyd, she also learns the rules. Ferris Boyd can’t talk and you’re not allowed to touch her. But Delly is trouble so how do you know she won’t touch Ferris? Becoming friends with shy and scared Ferris, Delly now knows that Ferris is a girl and that she’s afraid of a man in a green Impala. Can...more
Oh dear me, no. Folks who disliked Hannigan's equally twee novel Ida B will do well to steer clear of this novel. Delly is a kid that's just prone for trouble. She doesn't mean to, but anytime she does something fun she gets yelled at. Told to shape up or she'll have to ship out, Delly meets Ferris, a completely silent girl at school who doesn't like to be touched. Through Ferris, Delly is able to work out some problems and help the girl in kind.

I'd been told that if you disliked Hannigan's prev...more
This book was a little hard to get into. I was not connecting with the main character at all. Finally, half way through the book, I started to like little Miss Delly Pattinson and who she was becoming. I wish I could've understood her sooner in the story, though. I wanted more of her by the end. As for the writing itself, I didn't love it. Granted, it is a children's novel. Perhaps too much hype after the author's very successful "Ida B". I still don't quite know how the title goes with the book...more
There are not enough superlative adjectives to describe how beautiful this novel is. "Amazing", "brilliant" and "incredible" are too mild. I sincerely think it's a masterpiece... and I was utterly gobsmacked by it, in the best possible way. (I think Delly would appreciate the non-cuss word "gobsmacked", even though it's not one of her own). Stunned speechless with awe and appreciation.

The character of Delly just leaped right off the page, grabbed me firmly by the imagination and the funny-bone,...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
From the time she was very young, Delaware has found herself in trouble of one kind or another, and it is only when she sees her mother crying when she is given one last chance by her school principle to avoid being sent to a school for troubled children, does Delly attempt to mend her ways. Each day is a struggle, until she discovers the one thing that can make her change, and she discovers true friendship in the form of the new girl in town, Ferris Boyd, a selective mute who fears human contac...more
Most months, my oldest two daughters and I go to a mother-daughter book club at a local Library. A friend of mine also attends.

This is a story about Delly Pattison and her brother R.B. Delly is a bit of a handful. She is full of adventure and is always getting into trouble, although she doesn't really mean to most of the time. She has a lack of impulse control...she doesn't stop to think about consequences or to ask permission. I loved Delly, almost right from the start. She would be one of tho...more
All right then… Those words are used so effectively in this book that I needed to begin with them. They wrap the story around us, the readers, like a hug. And then there is a whole new vocabulary, like Deli-icious and Chisel (an un-cuss word), or SurPresent, a gift one is surprised by. I listened to this book during the past two weeks. The main character, Delly Pattison is a pre-teen with a temper who is constantly getting in trouble, and it seemed to be a long while before things started to mov...more
Since I loved Katherine Hannigan's Ida. B, I've been anticipating this book ever since I learned it was coming out. Well, I didn't love True... Sort of as much as Ida B. but that's mainly because Ida reminded me of myself and kindred spirits always make a book better. I didn't really identify as much with Delly who has a penchant for getting in trouble as a result of her temper and/or lack of thought process. I liked her vocabulary, though. I am a sucker for people who make up their own words. (...more
Sherrie Petersen
Most people would call this a quiet story. There aren't any epic battles between good and evil. No faeries, vampires or other magical creatures fill the pages. Yet each of the characters struggles to deal with a different kind of magic: the power of words.

Delly has been called bad so many times that she's starting to believe it herself. Instead of walking away from fights, she's causing them and breaking her mother's heart. Feris doesn't talk at all, burying a pain so deep and dark that words ha...more
This book was incredible. I loved every second of reading it, and as soon I finished, I wanted to start over again. Katherine Hannigan has created a dynamic cast of characters, leading captivating, incredibly honest lives and the result is a book so tender and real and insightful that reading it teaches you more about the world and yourself, without even really trying. I would happily read this book to my students, to my own children, to my nephew, to myself- to anyone who will listen! It's the...more
Allison Parker
A bad-girl story invites comparison to, of course, the great The Great Gilly Hopkins. The difference between Gilly and Delly of True... Sort of, is that there's no obvious reason for Delly to be bad. She's not a damaged foster kid. Her family isn't unstable or cruel. She's just a girl with very little impulse control, and between fun Dellyventures to be had and fights that need to be fought, Delly's found herself in plenty of trouble, from the principal's office to police cruisers. Finally, her...more
I read this in audio version. Dele is a memorable character as is Farris Boyd. As an adult, it broke my heart when Hannigan described how this child, who had such a sunny spirit and zest for life, had it slowly taken from her as she matured. It takes so little sometimes to crush a child's spirit and self-concept. It was realistic though. I loved the development of Officer Tibbets and the happy ending. While some have criticized the book saying it's unrealistic that no adult ever looked into why...more
Ok, this one confuses me genre wise. It's more of a long "chapter book" than YA, so technically "children's literature" (and the protagonist is younger). But the topics handled in the storyline--selective mutism, child abuse, etc.--are very mature. So.

This had me getting that choked back tears feeling on practically every other page. Delly, the main character, is trying so hard to be a good person, but keeps getting told from the world how bad she is, that she starts to believe it. When a new s...more
Gwen the Librarian
It's nice when we can leave an outstanding author alone for a while so she can craft another perfect novel. Ida B. was once of the most memorable and lovely reads for kids and now, her second novel is not a disappointment.

Dellie has always had an irrepressible spirit and boundless energy and sense of fun. Unfortunately, many things she sees as fun get her into trouble. After being told over and over again that she is "bad," one day Dellie begins to think she really is bad and she loses her buoya...more
Carol Royce Owen
Wow! Spent the day reading this book. I didn't want to put it down and I didn't want it to end. Delly is an 11 year old who has gotten herself into a lot of trouble through the years (fighting, truancy, stealing, etc), until one day when she is told that one more incident will lead to her being sent to a school for delinquents. Seeing how much this has hurt her mother she tries to control the badness in her, even secluding herself from others so she won't get in any trouble. While doing so she b...more
I love Delly! She is wonderiffic! She even has her own dictionary in the back of the book! Katherine Hannigan once again lets readers enter the mind of child who tends to get into trouble so much that she thinks she is bad. Readers will laugh at some of her shenanigans but also cry at the tenderness of youth. This book teaches us all the power of words and the power of silence. The friendship between Delly and Ferris Boyd(a new girl who does not talk) is one of wonder. Ferris, without saying a w...more
I loved this book. I wasn't sure I was even going to like it in the beginning. Delly came off a little too young with her made-up words, as if she were channeling Junie B. Jones or something. But then Ferris and RB came into the picture and I spent the afternoon reading just to make sure they would be able to get Ferris out of the serious trouble she was in. And I cried. I plan to read this one with my kids. I don't think it is one they would pick up off the shelf on their own, but the messages...more
As a huge fan of Ida B, I was looking forward to this book and it is another amazing story, SO powerful with both characters and storyline. Much of the impact comes not from what is said, but from all that is unspoken as the reader tries to construct the background and history of the characters like Delly and Gal and Ferris Boyd and Brud. The way Hannigan uses words is so imaginative and delightful and I'm so glad to know about hummin bins and all of Delly's descriptive words for celebrations an...more
The 9yo picked TRUE (...SORT OF) for his LA/Lit project. He read it every day, sitting curled in a ball on the couch, alternately laughing out loud and sighing with heartbreak. As soon as he finished, he asked me to read it. How could I say no?

He knows a great book when he reads it.
Sophie Juliet
Happy Hallelujah!
One of the best books I've ever read in my whole life!
Just finished it this bawlgram minute!
I was so pleasantly surprised and moved by this book. It's certainly one of the best crafted books I've ever read... from the depth of characters to the descriptions of emotions to the heart of dealing with hurt and making friends... so very well done.

Do not assume that because it's Young Adult literature that it's simple or silly or childish. It is a modern day Charlie Brown, good kid bad luck, friends will see you through, trust your family kind of story.

I can't wait to read this out loud to...more
Brittany Tatum
True (...Sort Of) by Katherine Hannigan is a a story about a little troublemaker named Delaware "Delly" Pattison. At the beginning of the book, Delly is on is on an "Dellyvendture" in search of a "surpresent" that she cannot seem to find. Little does Delly know that her "surpresent" is right in front of her in Ferris Boyd - a new girl who becomes friends with Delly, she is the reason why Delly manages to stay out of trouble. Ferris Boyd does not talk and she doesn't like to be touched so in ord...more
Kierstyn Stanley
There's a new student in Delly's class and it's a mystery as to the gender of the new student. Is it a boy or a girl? Delly makes it her mission to find out. She first finds out the students name is Ferris Boyd and that Ferris is in fact a girl. This causes a controversy between Ferris and Brud. Brud thinks Ferris is a boy, and boy can he play basketball well. When Brud finds out Ferris is a girl, however, he sort of shuns her from his world. Another friend lost to Ferris. Delly makes it her dut...more
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True... Sort of 17 25 Mar 19, 2012 09:25PM  
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Katherine Hannigan's first novel, Ida B . . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World was a New York Times bestseller, a Book Sense bestseller, and a Parents' Choice Gold Award winner, and it appeared on more than twenty-five state award lists. She (and several wild rabbits) live at the edge of a meadow in northeastern Iowa.
More about Katherine Hannigan...
Ida B. . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World Emmaline and the Bunny Gwendolyn Grace The Last Holiday Concert

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“It wasn't till they were on the bridge that Delly asked RB, "So, Ferris Boyd's your favorite?" She didn't mind, mostly.
RB answered so fast, though, she knew he wasn't fibbing. "She's my favorite friend," he told her. "You're my favorite everything.”
“In the book, hummin bins made castles, and towers up to the sky. They tamed the animals and took care of them. And hummin bins helped each other. They were always good.
"When I was done, Ma asked, 'Delly, what are hummin bins?' 'They're like people, but better,' I said. Then I told her, 'When I grow up, I'm going to live with the hummin bins,' and she smiled.
"But Galveston grabbed the book, 'Let me see that,' she said, and started laughing. 'This says human beings. There's no such things as hummin bins.'
"'Ma, is it true?' I asked, and she nodded. 'How come you didn't tell me?' I cried.
"'I liked the hummin bins better, too,' she said." ...
"RB's right, Ferris Boyd. You are a hummin bin." Her eyeballs were wet, like they were swimming.
It was quiet, then, till RB's soft cloud voice said, "You're a hummin bin, too, Delly.”
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