4.1 6
by Norah McClintock

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When his step-father Phil is shot dead in an apparent robbery, David becomes the prime suspect. Where was David that night, and what does he know about Phil?

David has figured out the truth about his step-father, and the day his kid-brother died. What will it take for him to tell? And how did he know?


When his step-father Phil is shot dead in an apparent robbery, David becomes the prime suspect. Where was David that night, and what does he know about Phil?

David has figured out the truth about his step-father, and the day his kid-brother died. What will it take for him to tell? And how did he know?

Editorial Reviews

CM Magazine
"Fast-paced and edgy…Tell will satisfy any reader eager to solve a case…A clever, modern who-done-it. Highly Recommended."
"A beautifully written book. [The author] can definitely keep the reader attached and interested. A great read!"
Canadian Book Review Annual
"Highly Recommended."
NMRLS Youth Services Book Review
"The short length, quick pace and elements of mystery combine to make this thriller another Orca Sounding title that will appeal to many readers."
KLIATT - Sherri Forgash Ginsberg
In this elongated short story a lot is revealed and yet there is an abundance of information that is left untold. David's stepfather is murdered under suspicious circumstances and David becomes a credible suspect. He wasn't home that night and his alibi is weak and unsupportable. Even his own mother, who has untold secrets of her own, is suspicious of her only surviving son. Her other son drowned while in a boat with his stepfather on board. Again, the events are clouded by suspicious behavior. The author succinctly convey a complicated family relationship. She chooses her words thoughtfully and constructs a well-written, compelling story to be enjoyed by her YA audience, especially male readers.
VOYA - Teri S. Lesesne
The police come to David's home in the middle of the night with the news that his stepfather has been murdered. There are no suspects in custody, and the police seem much more interested in learning David's whereabouts for the night of his stepfather's murder. When the questioning begins, David asks that his mother leave the room so that he can tell the police all he knows about the night of the murder and about his stepfather's "tell," the way that David and others know when his stepfather was bluffing. Orca Soundings are high interest, low readability novels that pack a lot of action into a few pages. In addition to the fast pacing of the plots, there is generally a nice twist to a familiar story. Avid readers might find the stories too predictable; however, unmotivated readers will be surprised when the story takes an unexpected turn.
Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
At 2:00 A.M., the police arrive at David's house with terrible news. His stepfather, Phil, was just murdered while taking money out at an ATM machine in town. David's mother is heartbroken, but the young teenager tries to piece together what he has observed about his stepfather that could have led to this tragic end. What caused Phil's untimely death? What clues does David discover posthumously, by reexamining details from Phil's life? What link do Phil's weekly poker games have to the plot of the story? As the book progresses, David reveals animosity toward his stepfather that leads the police to suspect the young man might have some involvement in Phil's death. The running theme of a poker game effectively adds to the suspense of this novel, which is guaranteed to be a page-turner for young adult readers. With suspense and carefully crafted detail, Norah McClintock weaves a haunting story that is a great addition to the Orca Soundings series.
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up
In poker, a "tell" is a sign that someone is bluffing. It might be a twitch, a nervous cough, or a glance. David learned a lot about tells as he watched his stepfather play the game. Now the man has been murdered, and the teen lies when a policeman shows up on his doorstep asking questions. The police quickly focus in on him, and in convincing them of his innocence, David thinks back to his stepfather's tells and realizes some long-hidden truths about his family. Embedded in the mystery are two smaller puzzles involving the boy's brother and birth father. Unfortunately, David's questions about why this man disappeared from his life and where he is now are never explained, but they are not central to the plot. The main mystery is wrapped up so quickly and neatly that fans of the genre might be disappointed that it's over so soon. This short novel is aimed at teens with lower reading levels but it will also appeal to others. Overall, the quick pace and David's secret make this a good thriller.
—Sadie MattoxCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
Orca Soundings Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.30(d)
HL650L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

"He said they want to talk to you, David."

"They?" I said. "The cops?"

She nodded.

"What for?" I don't think I ever worked harder at getting just two words out of my mouth. I tried to sound like I had no idea what the cops would want with me.

Meet the Author

Norah McClintock is a five-time winner of the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for crime fiction for young people. She is the author of more than sixty YA novels, including books in Seven (the series), the Seven Sequels and the Secrets series. Norah lives in Toronto, Ontario. For more information, visit

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Tell 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
realking More than 1 year ago
i think this book is really good and i like the way that it makes you think of all the posibilities
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im reading it now and it is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Josethequeen More than 1 year ago
I think this is a great book, it definitely is the first book I have enjoyed in awhile. -Zakk Applegate TCHS Class of 2012
wmdave More than 1 year ago
Are you good at telling when someone is lying? A "tell" is something a person may do which could indicate they aren't telling the truth. This may be a facial expression, a body movement or another kind of habit. Tells become second nature when gambling or playing cards. This can also be a good skill to have throughout life. After the death of David's gambling stepfather, David must learn who is telling the truth about how much they know. Meanwhile, the police believe David knows a lot more than he is volunteering. Who killed Phil and why? I would recommend the book to someone who likes to read mystery novels. This book is very fast-paced and the vocabulary is not that difficult. Each chapter ends on a suspenseful note, making you want to continue reading. The ending didn't give enough information and left so many questions unanswered. What I did like about the book was that the author kept the reader constantly questioning who the possible killer could be.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Where did you get the gun? Where did you hide it after you murdered him? How did you even do it?

These are all questions that Detective Antonelli asked David, the main character of TELL, after his stepfather, Phil, was shot and killed.

All signs pointed to David when the police found out that he was only a block away from the crime scene. Not to mention that he was there with Phil just moments before his stepfather's death. David has no way of talking himself out of this one, because no one else was there when Phil was shot.

David stretches the truth and ends up making it harder to claim himself innocent. He has nowhere else to turn but the TRUTH. In the end, which will he choose--juvenile hall, or telling what really happened?

Ms. McClintock tells the tale of an amazingly thrilling murder mystery in this beautifully-written book. She can definitely keep the reader attached and interested. A great read!