Bethany's Reviews > The Truth about Truman School

The Truth about Truman School by Dori Hillestad Butler
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's review
Jul 25, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: youngadultfiction, slj-reviews, juvenilefiction

Gr 5–8—Told not to write anything that would get the administration riled up, Zebby Bower becomes fed up and quits as editor of the school newspaper. Soon after, she and her friend Amr begin their own online newspaper, one that they hope will provide a true voice to the students of Truman Middle. It takes off, but in an unfortunate direction. When anonymous posts about popular Lilly Clarke start to get vicious, calling her a homo, a lesbo, and more, the devastated girl goes missing, and the site's creators scramble to figure out what to do. Chapters alternate among Zebby, Amr, and the students surrounding the scheme to ruin Lilly, each one providing a unique perspective as the action unfolds. With anonymous entries that subtly build suspense, the events brought about by this 21st-century slam book cause the characters to examine how the things they say and do can be hurtful to others without even realizing it. The story moves at a good pace and the timely subject of cyberbullying will be relevant to readers. The language is accessible and the students' voices ring true. This thought-provoking read is sure to initiate discussion.—Bethany A. Lafferty, Las Vegas-Clark County Library, NV

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