Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Honest Truth” as Want to Read:
The Honest Truth
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Honest Truth

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  12,360 ratings  ·  2,211 reviews
In all the ways that matter, Mark is a normal kid. He's got a dog named Beau and a best friend, Jessie. He likes to take photos and write haiku poems in his notebook. He dreams of climbing a mountain one day.

But in one important way, Mark is not like other kids at all. Mark is sick. The kind of sick that means hospitals. And treatments. The kind of sick some people never g
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published January 27th 2015 by Scholastic Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Honest Truth, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Tiffani Long Kid. Adult. Senior Citizen. It's worth reading no matter who you are!…moreKid. Adult. Senior Citizen. It's worth reading no matter who you are!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,360 ratings  ·  2,211 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Honest Truth
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A story of a boy on a journey to finding out the important things in life. A remarkable story with beautiful writing and heart wrenching moments.
A spare, beautiful story about the importance of love and life in the face of death. The friendship between Mark and Jess touched me, and Beau joins the Pantheon of unforgettable dogs in books. A must-own book.
Apr 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
I had an ARC of The Honest Truth by Dan Geimenhart and it isn't good. I was excited because The Honest Truth is an outdoorsy novel, like Halfway to the Sky, but the trouble with a kid alone in the wilderness is that things rarely happen when one is alone in the wilderness. Dan Gemeinhart circumvents this problem by spending 175 pages of the 229-page book getting Mark onto Mount Rainier, and only a few pages on mountaineering fail before Mark succumbs to exhaustion and hypothermia and nearly die ...more
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-best-read
Oh my god.
My heart.

And I still can't believe that I finished it in 1 sitting.


A brave boy.
A life goal.

Jennifer Bertman
What a moving story. I suppose it could be described as THE FAULT IN OUR STARS for the middle grade reader. A boy fighting cancer is determined to achieve his goal of climbing Mt. Rainier. It's also a beautiful story about friendships. And for those who love a good "boy and his dog" tale, it is that too. ...more
Nurhayati Ramlan
Actual Rating: All the stars in the universe!

"All the world is dark. But together we build light; shared, it keeps us warm."

It was a beautiful story; about hope, angers. About friendships and promises. About trust and love. About a dying boy and his loyal dog.

I did not expect it to leave such impact to me. I was certainly did not expect myself to clutch the book and cried my heart out at how much feels it giving me.

Read this book please, share the feels with me. Let us all sit and think of
John Velo
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I can't even begin to imagine how a person with terminal illness must feel like but I know for sure that it's one of the worst (if not THE worst) feelings one can ever encounter in life.

The Honest Truth tells the story of Mark, a young boy who is battling cancer and he is just tired of it all. Tired of being sick, tired of being pitied, tired of feeling like his time on Earth is running out. So, he decides to "claim" his life (which is the only thing he feels he has a claim of) and sets off on a
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
it was really sad but it was beautiful. i really loved this book, it had a lot a meaning to it and i can relate somehow to this book. it was also one of my favorite books this year which i think is hard for me to find books i like, so this one is great.
Carrie Gelson
Whoa. A start and don't put down until done book. Dog as hero. Boy with the weight of the world. Honest truths are the hardest because we don't often tell them. ...more
Jeff Zentner
Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
While this is ostensibly a middle-grade book (and is in fact entirely appropriate for young readers), I would not and do not hesitate for a moment to recommend this book to adults. It does all that children's literature should do and all that adult literature should do.

Gorgeous, luminous, guileless, spare, heartrending, and haunting are the adjectives that best describe this story of a young boy stricken with cancer who seeks to do something beautiful and magnificent before dying. To rage agains
Kerry Cerra
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg
This is a quick and easy, though gut-wrenching read with a plot that made me turn the pages for a straight-through-in-one-day read. I HAD to know what was going to happen. The main character, Mark is faced with sobering news about his fight with cancer and decides he wants to die alone on the mountain he's longer to conquer for years. So, he scoops up his dog and they set out on an unforgettable journey that leads Mark to come to terms with life and death, love and friendship, and hope over desp ...more
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a story about a kid on an adventure. An adventure to die.

This story is largely about dying, and the remarkable bravery of a young boy who is ready to die on his own terms, even if it means running away.

But what I took away was the amazing power of friendship. Jessie's devotion to Mark...Beau's devotion to Mark...it was moving.

A great book with small chapters for your reluctant readers. But a great book for everyone, as well.
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
*4.5 stars*

I wish I could find the words to write a perfect review about this book but honestly, my emotions are too much right now.
Just know that this book was beautiful and heart warming in every possible way. It gave me hope and also broke my heart.
That is all I can say.
Absolutely wonderful.
shre ☂
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My heart breaks every single time I read this book! This is truly a masterpiece <3
4.5 stars. This review also appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I live for sad books. I love them with a passion and the more that a book can make me ugly-cry, the better. So it wasn’t really a huge surprise that I absolutely fell in love with The Honest Truth.

This book is about 12-year-old Mark, who has been battling cancer on and off since he was 5. When he finds out that h
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-pt, own
I want a Beau.
It has a beautiful message. I liked it very much.
Richie Partington
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Richie’s Picks: THE HONEST TRUTH by Dan Gemeinhart, Scholastic Press, January 2015, 240p., ISBN: 978-0-545-66573-5

“My dog he turned to me and he said
Let’s head back to Tennessee Jed.”
-- Garcia/Hunter (1971)

“She could feel where he was heading, and her body shivered at the thought. She reached out, through the miles and the storm that wetted and shook her window; she reached out with her heart to her friend, wandering wherever he was. She could feel him, she thought. That was the kind of friendsh
May 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
The quote on the jacket reads, "A heartbreaking, moving novel that makes you want to embrace the boy at its center and hold him close." I agree with the heartbreaking, moving part. But what did I want to do to Mark? How about throw him over the side of a mountain myself?! Seriously, you have two loving parents, a great best friend, and a faithful dog and you're going to run away - risking not just your own life, but your dog's life, too? Am I supposed to cheer for you? Not happening. If the kid ...more
Libby Ames
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
The Honest Truth is not a book I can recommend. The writing is good and the characters well-developed, but I object to the story and tone of the novel. Mark is a normal kid who has been battling cancer for years. When the cancer returns, he runs away with his faithful dog Beau. His goal is to reach the top of Mount Rainier. However, he lies to his parents and forces his best friend to choose between their friendship and telling everyone where he has gone. As a parent, this was painful to read. K ...more
Sarah Levy
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story is powerful & emotional. While some parts were almost too emotional for me, the story and underlying themes of this book are important and remarkable.
mckenna ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ
Dec 31, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: novels, didnt-finish
I made it about 3/4 of the way through this book. When I first picked it up I didn’t really realize that it was aimed towards a younger audience, which isn’t a bad thing! It’s just not what I was expecting. Now I do realize that pre-teens/kids aren’t dumb and they know what illness is but I just felt like for being a middle-grade book this story had a very dark undertone? A twelve year old boy literally going on a suicide mission? I mean, really? It almost seemed as if the writing style in this ...more
Holly Mueller
The Honest Truth was one of those Scholastic Book Club books that managed to make its way from the box into kids' hands without me ever getting to read it. My students would read it, wipe away their tears, and tell me I HAD to read it! I brought it home this summer so I could finally do just that, but I ended up reading Some Kind of Courage first for our staff book club. I loved that one so much, I knew the time had come to read The Honest Truth. Now I know why my students loved it so much. Lik ...more
This book has such a strong hook. And you really feel for Mark--the stuff he is going through is completely unfair. So he takes a road trip of self-discovery with his trusty dog, scaring his family and best friend out of their minds. Maybe that's the part that caused me to not like this book as much as I expected--while Mark was going through such a horrible situation, it made me mad that he put his loved ones through such anguish when they had only done everything they could for him. On the oth ...more
Agata Wilusz
Sep 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 7th-ela, boy-reads
I feel bad that I didn't enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. I have a feeling a big part of the reason was because I listened to it rather than read it, and I did not particularly like the person speaking.
Regardless, I thought the pace of the plot was rather slow, however I really enjoyed the 1/2 chapters that allow the reader to see life back 'home' and how Mark's running away impacts his family and friends.
Something I really liked about the story were the different people Mark met along
Brenda Kahn
Confession time. I wasn't eager to read this book - yet another cancer book. This one being compared to TFIOS, a book I did not particularly care for, didn't make me want to read it either. Add to that the knee-jerk reaction I get to HYPE and, well, I just was not rushing to read it. I'm glad I did. The story requires a fair degree of suspension of belief and Mark, sick as he is does not come off particularly sympathetically but middle school readers will be riveted. This is an impressive debut. ...more
Ben Rollins
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Talk about having courage, the main character Mark shows a ton of it when he makes a huge decision that could cost him his life! Mark is like any other kid in some ways, however, in others Mark is different he is sick. This book takes you on Mark's journey as he follows his dream. This book makes you think of other children that might be sick like he is. ...more
Gary Butler
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
47th book read in 2017.

Number 349 out of 612 on my all time book list.
Lucas  G F2
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Person to self. Person to dog. Person to mountain. Mark cared of nothing else. Cancer left him weak, but it was the people around him that broke him. Leaving everything else behind, Mark leaves to die. To give up. To break. The fragile person inside him shatters, but a stronger person emerges.
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Whenever I find out that the book I'm about to read deals with kids and cancer
or kids and dying
or kids and (insert your worst nightmare scenario here)
I am tempted to not read said book.
Not because I can't read depressing books (hello! I like Russian literature) but because so often the author makes the children saints or poets or oh-so wise little sages who pierce right through the malarkey of life and nail wisdom right between the eyes.

Sigh. This is one of those books.

12 year old Mark has ca
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
A really cute middle grade book! The writing was very quick and the story was very intriguing and kept me reading. The pacing was great and everything moved along so quickly. (view spoiler) I really enjoyed this one but I didn't think it was anything amazing or over the top. Just an enjoyable read! However, I'd love ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. YA fiction. Boy with cancer runs away to a Washington state National park. [s] 5 36 Jun 06, 2021 12:45PM  
The Honest Truth 1 8 Jan 26, 2018 07:34AM  
Frankie anglemyer 1 2 Jan 22, 2018 04:32PM  
External conflict 15 17 Nov 30, 2017 10:50PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Rich (Dyamonde Daniel #2)
  • The Bridge Home
  • Fighting Words
  • Finding Langston
  • Some Places More Than Others
  • Locomotion
  • Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever
  • Playing the Cards You're Dealt
  • Lost in the Sun
  • Back to Front and Upside Down
  • The Hello, Goodbye Window
  • Song for a Whale
  • House Arrest (House Arrest, #1)
  • Merci Suárez Changes Gears
  • The Pirate of Kindergarten
  • Wolf in the Snow
  • My Friend Rabbit
  • A Ball for Daisy
See similar books…
See top shelves…

Related Articles

  Mahogany L. Browne is the author of Chlorine Sky, Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, Woke Baby, and Black Girl Magic. She's also the...
29 likes · 5 comments
“Dogs die. But dogs live, too. Right up until they die, they live. They live brave, beautiful lives. They protect their families. And love us. And make our lives a little brighter. And they don't waste time being afraid of tomorrow.” 69 likes
“Across far, dark miles a friend can still hold your hand and be there with you.” 32 likes
More quotes…