Tall Tales [NOOK Book]

Overview

Meg's family has moved a lot because of her father's drinking. Meg arrives in her town longing to find a real friend, someone she can talk to and write stories with. When she and Grace join forces to write a book, she's thrilled that she has finally found someone who likes her for who she is, who trusts her and confides in her.

But she can't tell Grace about her father. Even...
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Tall Tales

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Overview

Meg's family has moved a lot because of her father's drinking. Meg arrives in her town longing to find a real friend, someone she can talk to and write stories with. When she and Grace join forces to write a book, she's thrilled that she has finally found someone who likes her for who she is, who trusts her and confides in her.

But she can't tell Grace about her father. Even though she hates to lie, Meg can't resist telling tall tales about her family and her life to Grace and other kids.

For Meg, friendship turns out to be the key to telling the truth, and also to a better life for her family.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Abusive, alcoholic fathers can be hard to hide from new friends, especially when they promise to stop drinking-and don't. Rather than spill family secrets, many family members sweep the problem under the rug, and invent excuses to explain odd behavior (or injuries). Twelve-year-old Meg has taken stretching the truth one step further. When pressed about her family by classmates at her new school, she makes up hyperbolic stories to take away the pressure. "My family is from Australia... we lived in tents for the past three years"; "I caught malaria in India last summer. I was so sick I almost died." When she meets Grace, the two become fast friends and Meg worries that her lies-and the truth about her father-will get in the way of their friendship. But as her father's abuse continues and he decides to move the family once again, Meg, her mother and her siblings must decide if they can leave him. Day's debut novel tackles deep issues-abuse in the home, excessive lying to both peers and adults, and a lack of responsible role models-though the narrative can be choppy in sections (chapter length varies widely). Still, Day's account captures the intense tangle of emotions felt by family members who have been convinced that they are too powerless to stop abuse on their own. Ages 9-12. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Gr 4-7
Meg Summers is once again entering school as the new kid, and sixth grade in Lake Haven, IN, makes her feel just as lonely as she did on the previous moves. She wants a friend so badly that she begins fabricating stories to sound exciting and interesting. When she does make friends with Grace Bennett, one of the "peppy blond girls," her stories continue, this time to cover up her family's secret. Meg's father is an alcoholic and his binges are becoming more frequent and violent, especially since her older brother is fighting back. When Grace's stepmom drives Meg home after one of her many visits, they witness an altercation between Mr. Summers and Teddy in the driveway. Day uses the friendship between the girls and the strong adult support of Grace's family and a favorite aunt to pave the path Meg follows to trust others enough to finally tell the truth about her dad. "I've been telling the biggest tall tale of my life to myself." The author's portrayal of a family in crisis is convincingly tragic: " . . . it's not until mom hands him coffee that I see in his eyes how it will be today and how I should feel." Although there is no fairy-tale ending, the story is realistic and hopeful with discussable issues appropriate for a wide audience.
—D. Maria LaRoccoCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
New town, new school, same old family problems. Twelve-year-old Meg is quietly hoping this time will be different since she's tired of moving around from Michigan to Indiana so her alcoholic father can keep changing jobs. Unlike previous years, though, older brother Teddy is more combative with drunken Dad, risking emotional and physical abuse. Mother is struggling to find a job, while Meg's made-up tall tales about her life and family are becoming more frequent. She begins to worry about being caught in all sorts of lies with her new friend, Grace, who struggles with the loss of her mother to cancer. Things go from bad to worse, as battered Mom and kids fear for their safety yet are afraid to seek help even when a broken arm sends red flags to everyone at the hospital. Meg's personal emotional ordeal is well portrayed as the reader is allowed into her private confused thoughts. Day juxtaposes numerous themes and issues around two friends who live very differently, yet are burdened with powerful feelings of guilt and grief. Darkened days brighten for Meg and her family when help is finally accepted from responsible adults and a new friendship grows to a trusting and truthful relationship. Realistic, with an auspicious ending. (Fiction. 10-13)
From the Publisher
“Just about every kid can relate to the desire to cover up family flaws, so they’ll understand Meg’s dilemma and they’ll be glad to see her reach better times.”—The Bulletin, Recommended

“The author’s portrayal of a family in crisis is convincingly tragic. . . . The story is realistic and hopeful with discussable issues appropriate for a wide audience.”—School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307498205
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 12/24/2008
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 913,388
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Karen Day grew up in Indiana and now lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with her husband and three children. Her love of reading and writing has taken her through careers in journalism and teaching. This is her first novel. You can visit Day at her Web site: klday.com.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2013

    Great book

    Thisbook defintely is a great read. It connects to what some families go through today. It also is what some

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2012

    I Recommend it

    It was a good book, I enjoyed reading it.

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  • Posted July 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful

    This book is amazing with lovely characters and unique plot I see no reason why not to read! Perfect for grade school kids mostly 3rd 4th and 5th. Got a child that needs to read? Toss this there way. Its the perfect fit. I read thisa long time ago and I still love it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    a good book

    I enjoyed reading this book. I would read it again and again just for fun. This is a very special book and one of my favorites. Everyone should get to read it at least once because it has friendship and family and even some sadness but i loved every single bit of it. It is very suspensful and fun to read. I couldn't let go of it! :)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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