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Absolutely Truly (Pumpkin Falls Mystery #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,796 Ratings  ·  359 Reviews
An unsent letter in a first edition copy of Charlotte's Web leads to a hunt for treasure in this heartwarming middle grade mystery from the author of The Mother-Daughter Book Club.

Now that Truly Lovejoy's father has been injured by an IED in Afghanistan and is having trouble finding work back home, the family moves from Texas to tiny Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, to take o
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published November 1st 2014)
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Agnella Yes. Even though this book takes place after Christmas (I think), it's still a fun, cozy read!!

Community Reviews

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Melody
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Warm and loving, this book is one of my favorite middle-grade novels in recent memory. Truly is hilarious and fairly self-aware for a twelve-year-old. Her father, like her whole family dynamic, is complicated, interesting and ultimately hopeful. The mystery was fun, the bookshop setting perfect, and the little town of Pumpkin Falls, "population you've got to be kidding me," adorable. I hope everyone buys this as fast as they can so Frederick will be able to turn this into a series.
Suad Shamma
Oct 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own, 2015
I must confess I am a little shocked at the high ratings this book has received. I will start off by saying that I understand this book is meant for middle grade readers, but I will also say that I have read many of these stories and they were a thousand times better than this will ever be.

I did not look into Heather Vogel Frederick's background, so I don't know whether this is her first book or not, and honestly, I couldn't care less. When I read a book, whether it's the author's first or last,
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Amy
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-hearts
Seventh grader Truly Lovejoy (her real name) is moving back to Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire so that her Dad and Aunt can run the family bookstore. Pumpkin Hollow is a small town with lots of interesting characters and history. And while everyone is welcoming to the Lovejoys, Truly misses her cousin and best friend Mackenzie and the warm climate of Texas. After finding a mysterious note inside a copy of Charlotte's Web, Truly and her new besties Cha Cha and Lucas decide to solve the mystery for t ...more
Lisa
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-has, 2017
An unsent letter in a first edition copy of Charlotte's Web leads to a hunt for treasure in this heartwarming middle grade mystery from the author of The Mother-Daughter Book Club.

Now that Truly Lovejoy's father has been injured by an IED in Afghanistan and is having trouble finding work back home, the family moves from Texas to tiny Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, to take over Lovejoy's Books, a struggling bookstore that's been in the family for one hundred years.

With two older brothers and two
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The Styling Librarian
Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick, 4th grade and up. Realistic Fiction.
ARC, Book release date: Nov. 4th, 2014.
Loved this book.
Touching family story, displaced after father loses arm and comes home from war, moves into grandparents home and runs bookstore…
Loved connections to Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. It has an excellent small town feel with characters you quickly care about. Wouldn’t mind hanging out in the bookstore in Pumpkin Moon! Perfect book which H
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BookSweetie
Apr 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Middle Grade realistic fiction with a hint of mystery set in the fictional town of Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire. Contemporary internet era.

Much to recommend this warm-hearted family story that features books and a bookstore prominently --but it could easily have been so much better!

First: a fantastic seventh grade main character named Truly Lovejoy. She is a middle child of 5 whose soldier father has just returned from Afghanistan and is adjusting to the trauma of losing an arm (and his best f
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Krista Stevens
A delightful story where no character is obnoxious, kids act like kids without being sarcastic, and adults are portrayed realistically.

Golden lines...
"He went on to explain that as water cools below the freezing point, the molecules slow down and start to stick together, forming crystals...those stuck-together bits, which were called "frazil."
"You'll note they're roughly one millimeter in diameter," Mr. Bigelow went on. "Very tiny, but small is mighty in this case..." (great discussion about w
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Melissa
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'll give it two stars because it was an innocent story suitable for middle grades which I think is rare. However, the name thing was WAY overdone. Okay, her name is Truly Lovejoy, and her aunt is True, her best friend is Cha Cha(who is a dancer), cousin MacKenzie, and then the crazy Shakespeare college president names his son and daughter Romeo and Juliet. I think the author would rather just name characters than put together a cohesive story. Truly's father loses his arm while in the military ...more
Adam James
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
The cover of Absolutely Truly labels the book as a "Pumpkin Falls Mystery."
Calling Absolutely Truly a mystery is about as accurate as calling it a cookbook. Or a dictionary. Or entertaining. Or good.

Apparently, in the eyes of Heather Vogel Frederick, sort-of incorporating a less than interesting plot device about a series of love notes constitutes calling a story a mystery - even if this plot device is like 8% of the book. Explaining the main character's math tutoring eats up more of the plot t
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Betsy
More realistic fiction than mystery, this is a fun middle grades read set in a quirky small New England town. The town seemed almost too quirky and lovable to be true, but it made for a satisfying setting nonetheless. Truly's character is appealing and relatable, but the first person narration slowed me down in the beginning. I thought her father's "thaw" from Silent Man back to dad was nicely done (and, of course, dovetailed nicely with the actual "January thaw" that the community finally exper ...more
The Library Lady
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I am taking a star off here because this is subtitled "A Pumpkin Falls Mystery," which makes it seem like a mystery and hints that this is a series.The "mystery" here is rather minor, and heralding this book as such is bad classification.
Incidentally, the library catalog number that is one of the clues is a Library of Congress classification. LC numbers are set up to be used by big academic libraries. That's why some of the Pumpkin Falls Library staff don't recognize it. In a library that small,
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Julie
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a darling little mystery. I've read some of this author with my daughter, The Mother Daughter Bookclub, and this has the same voice. Very readable. Has a New Hampshire connection. Something for all ages 8-adult.
Cindy
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Charming YA tale - no murder, sex, gore or profanity. Fun and well narrated. Highly recommended for YA's and others tired of gore, profanity ... :-)
Kate
Nov 15, 2014 rated it liked it
I was really not a fan of Frederick's book The Mother Daughter Book Club and the ridiculous, outdated stereotypes that pervaded it. (Environmentalists don't care about their appearance and their all-natural snacks are disgusting! People who like to read are shy and wear glasses! Female athletes hate all things girly and don't get along with other girls!) I could continue, but the point is that I went into this book halfway expecting to be disappointed, but hoping I'd be pleasantly surprised. Mys ...more
Gabs {My Full Bookshelf Reviews}
This review (and others) can be found on My Full Bookshelf

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I will admit that when I found out about this book, I squealed a bit. Heather Vogel Frederick is the author of one of my all-time favorite series, The Mother Daughter Book Club. Needless to say, I had some tremendously high hopes for this book because of that.

Sadly, this one did not live up to those expectations. It was a decent book, but I had been h
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Larkin
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My standards for what constitute an enjoyable read are so high that my expectations are seldom surpassed. That happened while reading this book. I also only rarely give out 5 stars for ratings. I know that a book is really special when I find myself brightening up at the thought of reading that book before I go to sleep.

["Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier. " – Kathleen Norris]

I know that my descriptions of its fine qualities are g
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Ms. Yingling
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Truly and her family (two brothers, two sister) move back to her father's hometown in New Hampshire after her pilot father loses an arm to an IED while serving. Truly's grandparents had run a bookstore but are joining the Peace Corps, and Truly's father and aunt True are to run the store. The small town is quite different from Austin, Texas, but the family tries hard to settle in and enjoy their new life, even if it is much colder! Things are a little rocky, but Truly ends up enjoying her school ...more
Lauren Yan
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Truly Lovejoy’s life has been turned upside down. She was happy living in Texas but then came the worst day ever -- “Black Monday” as her family called it. Her father became “Silent Man”, and she had to move to the super tiny and boring town of Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire. But then she discovered a mysterious letter that led her on a big adventure and she realized that Pumpkin Falls might not be so boring after all. Was she be able to solve the mystery?
This was a great mystery book. It was s
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Sage
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
In the beginning of the book ,Truly, the main character, and her big family move from Texas to New Hampshire to help out with the family book store in the small town, Pumpkin Falls. Within the first month of living there, Truly meets many new friends and starts to like the town. One day Truly finds an envelope in a really old copy of Charlottes Web. She realizes that it is a clue to a mystery. She tells her friends about what she has found and that starts a scavenger hunt around town. As they h ...more
Megan
Mar 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
If you like good clean stories about middle aged kids in good families, this would be a great read aloud. Truly's family moves to Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire to take care of the bookstore that has been in the family for years after Truly's father loses his arm to an IED in Afghanistan (no graphic information, just the mourning of ability and overcoming trauma). Truly finds a mysterious letter in an old book in the bookshop and finds friends as she tries to solve the puzzle from the letter. Refe ...more
Laura
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Grades 4 and up. Touted as a mystery, this realistic fiction is so much more. Truly's father was recently wounded in Afghanistan, and is now struggling to readjust to life as a wounded warrior. The family relocates to a small New Hampshire town, where Truly makes new friends, deals with a growth spurt, learns how small town communities draw together to support one another, and yes - solves a small mystery along the way. Truly a joy to read - pun intended.
Lucinda
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is my all time fave!!!!!!!!!! It doesn't matter what else u like to read, U NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!!!!! I don't want to give too much away, but it's about this girl named Truly who's like 6 feet tall who moves to this teeny town in New Hampshire(?) and she thinks she's going to hate when she finds this old copy of Charlotte's Web in the back of her parents book shop. You'll have to read it to find out what happens next...
Sue
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-children
One of the things I like best about Heather Vogel Frederick's books is that they often focus on books. I have enjoyed the Mother-Daughter book club series, and thoroughly enjoyed this book (I hope it eventually becomes a series as well). I don't read much current YA fiction, I'm so glad I decided to read this.
Mariella
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Cady, Nosara, Bella
'Absolutely Truly' by Heather Vogel Frederick, is a phenomenal book. If you like never ending mystery, than this is the book for you. This must read, makes you join the adventure. Feeling what they feel and experiencing their emotions. While waiting for the sequel 'Yours Truly' to come out I've wished that I could read the book over and over again. This book is truly wonderful!
Elizabeth
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Realistic Fiction. Father in the military. Injured. Family had to move. Family dynamics. Middle child. Acclimating to a new school. Small town. Tall female protagonist. Enjoyable read. Some dysfunctional family dynamics but not unusual.
Sarah
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book really wasn't my favorite. Nothing really happened. If you hadn't read the back of the book, you would think that this book didn't really have a plot. I always listen to a book to go to sleep. No wonder this book makes me tired.
Jenn
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Good, tight, fun read with endearing characters. Sometimes it's nice to read a nice, uncomplicated book. So there.
Marg Corjay
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Clean,crisp narrative. Good family interaction. Realistic characters. Looking forward to more in this series.
Ms. Palubicki
Jul 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
This was a cute book--though I'm a sucker for books set in small towns in the winter. The mystery took a backseat to the other plot lines and themes, so, to me, it read more like realistic fiction.
Katie Farmer
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.8 stars
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“A community is like a family," she told him, "and every family has a few odd ducks. The important thing to remember is that they're still family.” 2 likes
“This isn't a strength, Aunt True," I said, "but it's dark in here."
"That's because it's nighttime, you moron!" scoffed Danny.”
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