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The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley: who planned to live an unusual life

(The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  676 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Cedar hangs out on the edges of the neighbourhood social circuit with Stinky, her dog and best friend. Things start to change when she meets a boy called Kite and finds they have a lot in common. Together they form a circus troupe and put on a performance that helps to unite their community.
Paperback, 226 pages
Published February 2002 by Allen & Unwin Australia
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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  676 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an entertaining story. The quirky main character carries the reader through the story's challenges with humour and an authenticity that's heartwarming, all the way through to the satisfying ending.
I don’t usually read a lot of middle grade fiction but whenever I do, I enjoy the whole reading experience so much that I wonder why I don’t read more frequently from this genre. There was this one particular book which kept falling at my feet every time I opened my bookshelf. I took this as a sign and moreover, of late I had been reading a lot of stories about adults/ grown-ups. So picking up this book felt like a breath of fresh air.

“The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley (who planned to
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-1001

What’s the most difficult part of life when you are a teen or a near-teen? One of the toughest parts has to be trying to figure out how much to blend and how much to be yourself at the same time that the world is telling you to blend, blend, blend. Cedar doesn’t really do blending.

What Cedar does do is people. Cedar has a green thumb for people. One of her friends tells her this, to Cedar’s delight. And thank goodness for that green thumb when your father has died mysteriously a
Jill Pickle
What a great voice! This was the beginning of my love affair with Aussie authors...
Robin Richardson
I loved this book so much when I first read it, and I was pleased to discover I still love it as an adult. It's very sweet and funny, and I'm still so glad I found it in whatever magazine I found it in way back when (Girls Life maybe?).
Melanie Schubert
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Quirky and delightful.
Cedar B. is a girl after my own heart 💖
Lila Mp
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
C.A. *On Hiatus*
Ramona Quimby meets Anne Shirley in this cute, charming little read about a 12 going on 13 year old girl bursting with personality and full of ideas about the world. This was a nice light-hearted book with good messages and life lessons. The protagonist was lovable, although I found her brother to be quite the opposite. This book had a lot of fun characters and little moments, and it all felt real. Like as a reader you got to watch the happenings of this little world.

Unfortunately, despite all
From Emily. She told me she likes to read this whenever she wants to feel happy, which is a pretty great recommendation.

I don't read many stories of this age, middle grade books where the protagonist is about 12. Cedar is an adorable one, with about ten zillion things to say. A lot of it is really funny (personal favorite: "I've got better things to do than care about someone's traditional wedding drama") and some of it makes sort of a funny way of describing when she gets upset ("my mind feelin
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very charming and entertaining book!
Cedar is a quirky twelve-year-old, who tells us about her life. She is bright and has quite a lot going on in her life, what with her brother having disappeared so that she is growing up with only her mother and with having befriended the odder set of people in her part of town, plus she is at that threshold from childhood to womanhood that makes life extra confusing. So it is quite an exciting and varied tale that we get to hear from her, especially when s
Oct 22, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just found it a bit unlikable. It felt deserted for some reason- Cedar was a bit of a loner.
My teacher read this out in class and out of grace everyone was quiet and pretended to be engrossed. Actually, I think a few girls enjoyed it, yet I was moaning. God, not that freaking book again.

Yet it wasn't BAD. I just thought it was BAD. It was nicely written, but just not my kind of thing. The kiddish introduction, the childish writing style, how I felt actually quite awkward throughout the b
Samantha-Ellen Bound
Caught sight of this book while browsing at the bookstore; read a few pages and loved the distinctive narrative voice and the Melbourne inner-suburb vibe. All the positive reviews I glanced at kept mentioning how cute it was, and I certainly found it cute, which is largely down to the central character, Cedar B Hartley, and her quite charming way of thinking about things. But in general I couldn’t really fault this book. It is utterly engaging – a simple story about an almost-teen who is in self ...more
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 12+
This great novel is told by a 13-year-old girl who has hellish red hair and would rather be called Lana Monroe because it has a rather famous ring to it.

Cedar’s life is upside down, her father’s death remains a mystery, her brother, Barnaby has run away from boarding school and to top it all of Stinky the dog is lost.

When Cedar meets Kite, a young acrobat she immediately begins lessons with him. After enough training she is ready to perform. But how? When the neighbours dog falls sick this is a
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's funny reading the reviews of this book as people seem to feel quite strongly about it. I thought it was great.

This book is about an 11 year old girl called Cedar growing up in a suburb in Australia. Her Dad died when she was young, and her brother is a runaway from boarding school. She doesn't really fit in at School but she's not really too fussed. Her Mum works hard as a mental health nurse, and Cedar is very much a child of her community. She is free spirited and curious.

I enjoyed the d
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice story for preteens. Cedar Hartley lives with her mother in a suburb of Melbourne. Her father is dead and her older brother has recently run away to another city. Cedar’s lost dog is found by a boy named Kite who is the son of circus acrobats, and Cedar soon learns to do acrobatics with him, putting on a show to raise money for vet’s bills for a neighbour’s pet.

There are some potentially heavy family issues but Cedar is a strong character who overcomes obstacles and does what is right. If
Jun 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was very thoughtful, fun, and cute. I enjoyed it quite a bit, even with the Aussie language scattered in there (Who in America would say "Fair Dinkum"?) This girl can also swear, but she doesn't do it very often, and i would say that it is not a reason to not read the book.
Cedar is a lovable, but also exasperating character (it even says so in the book jacket). She doesn't seem to care what others think about her, but she also thinks she knows just about everything, and is
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read the sequel and was impressed, so imagine my disappointment when this fell short of my expectations. While it introduced the characters and the plot which helped the second book made more sense, I didn't find something exciting in this. Sure, this was Cedar's home life setup. Sure, this was how she and Kite met. Sure, this was how she ended up learning acrobatics. BUT WHERE WAS THE CONFLICT? I'm sure there was one (or two) in there, but not strong enough to be remembered. Saving grace? The ...more
Sep 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My darling friend Cheryl gave me a copy of this book for Christmas a few years back, and my scoundrel friend Jan took it when she moved a few years minus N years back. It was the first YA book I'd read since I was a YA myself (and, actually, I spent most of my YA years reading sci-fi, so this may've been my real introduction to the genre, outside of, like, the Outsiders or something), and really opened my eyes as to the quality of YA writing these days. And goodness, was that a pot reference?!

Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Alright, so I bought this book at one of those book fairs in elementary school. I want to say around fourth grade, but I could be wrong. Either way, I was a young kid and I never read it until now. One - it wasn't that interesting. Two - I think some of the subject matter in that book was way too mature for young kids. But anyways... I don't have much to say about this one. If you want to read about a kid who likes acrobatics and the circus who also has a way messed up family then go for it.
Vahini Naidoo
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm planning to re-read this soon to see what I think of it, now. It was one of my favourites back when I was thirteen, though. I remember beautiful prose and amazing characterisation. And the story had such an emotional core. It was a true gem (so Aussie! So suburban!) and I was glad to have found it.
It was interesting, but I am not sure that I really enjoyed it as much as I was expecting to. There was a lot of hype from friends about how much they enjoyed it!
It would be a great novel for a teen to read though, and I guess the innocence of the young teenage years was good to read. It made me think back to my own, and how innocent and naive I was, yet how smart and mature I thought I was!
Jan 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile, favorite
Bryan received this book from one of his friends who works at Scholastic, it’s one of her favorites. Then Bryan read it, loved it and suggested I read it too. This is one of my favorite books that I've read this summer. It’s about 13-year-old Cedar who is learning to be an acrobat with her friend, Kite. If you’re looking for a quick read that’s really fun, check out this book.
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book - I love the main character and her training partner. I love how she handles the popular girls, the annoying boys - and the brother that disappears and sends post cards with cryptic poems on them.

I loved this book. just a great story about a girl...and a boy...and how they inspired so many people!
Oct 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hate this American cover. It looks shithouse compared to the Australian one.
This is one of my TOP FAVE books for interesting and thoughtful readers 9 or 10 plus. If either of my kids grows up to be half as quirky and smart as Cedar then I will be happy!
Rachel Groves
Absolutely lovely book. Yes it's a kids book but I wouldn't let that put you off as an adult if you like something light and lovely. Cedar is a fantastic character and she is destined to lead an unusual life. In fact she makes a great start in this book. Loved it.
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book and how it was about the life of a 12 year old girl and friendship and family and acrobatics and just about the story itself and I would recomend this to every1!! A great book and I hope to read the other series :O LLN
I though it was very imaginative, and i would also recommend it to anyone looking for a book with happiness, new beginnings and just book to refresh your outlook on life, which would be slightly pushing it but still the book was very enjoyable!
May 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I loved the author's voice, the way she strings together words, the way she describes thoughts and feelings so physically and creatively. I loved Cedar and Kite, Barnaby and Oscar, The Boys and Ricci... so much fun.
Aug 15, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got through the first chapter, barely.

It was time to go back to the library and I didn't bother renewing it.

At the end of the first chapter, I had no idea what this was about and I didn't really care about any of the characters...
It took me far too long to finish this book. It's not that it was bad, but it just didn't grab me. I also think that I had a hard time not being able to hear Cedar's voice with the correct accent. (I can't do an Australian accent to save my life.)
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Martine Murray, a native and a current resident of Melbourne, Australia, is an accomplished author with a variety of other talents and interests. She has studied film making at Prahan College, painting at the Victorian College of the Arts, and movement and dance at Melbourne University. She began writing as a method of keeping track of all of her activities. She explains, “I was writing in journal ...more

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The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley (2 books)
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