Tru Confessions

Tru Confessions

4.6 15
by Janet Tashjian
     
 

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Twelve-year-old Tru wants two things more than anything else in the world--to find a cure for her twin brother, Eddie, who is developmentally delayed, and to create her own television show. So the day Tru learns about a teen video competition on the local cable network, she knows that this is her change to make both of her dreams come true. But the more she gets

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Overview

Twelve-year-old Tru wants two things more than anything else in the world--to find a cure for her twin brother, Eddie, who is developmentally delayed, and to create her own television show. So the day Tru learns about a teen video competition on the local cable network, she knows that this is her change to make both of her dreams come true. But the more she gets involved in the making of her video documentary about Eddie, the more Tru begins to understand his special needs and the complexity of her relationship with him. Eddie seems like a burden from time to time, but he just may be the most important person in Tru's life.

Written in the form of a computer diary, this refreshingly humorous novel, narrated by a sassy heroine sensitively portrays the struggles and triumph of living with a sibling with special needs.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Amanda MacGregor
Twelve-year-old Trudy has always wanted to have her own television show. In her computer journal, she details her hopes and dreams. Even more than she wants her own television show, Tru wants her twin brother, Eddie, not to be handicapped. Tru has always felt a sense of guilt over the fact that her brother is mentally handicapped while she isn't. When the local cable station runs a contest for a new show, Tru puts together a demo tape. She wants to be able to both entertain and inform people about what life is like for Eddie. When her show wins the contest and airs, Tru isn't as excited as she had thought she would be. She struggles with her feelings toward the video she created, unsure what is bothering her. She wonders if she exploited her brother, or if she's bothered by all of the kids at school suddenly wanting to be their friends. Tru finally realizes that what is nagging at her is the fact that Eddie will not get better, that he will remain developmentally challenged while Tru continues to grow. Tashjian rarely veers from the main theme of Tru and Eddie's relationship, and the challenges Eddie faces every day. Tru's diary entries, her online chats, and her interactions with her peers all revolve around Eddie. Her devotion to her brother is touching and genuine. The short chapters, peppered with lists, pictures, and a variety of fonts, keep the pace moving. Reviewer: Amanda MacGregor
VOYA - Katie O'Dell Madison
The days of diaries with a little lock and key are definitely over for some kids, and that is true for twelve-year-old Tru as she shares her innermost thoughts and secrets, not on narrowly lined paper, but rather with her electronic journal. Tru, an amateur filmmaker, is gearing up for a local cable station's contest offering to air a show created by and for teens. While struggling for a concept to start filming, Tru also writes about her relationship with her twin brother, Eddie-who was born with special needs-her single mother, and the absence of her father. Readers will sympathize with the daily tasks Tru faces in protecting her brother at school and her search for a "cure" for him on the Internet. She faces some tough emotional truths when coming to terms with the fact that Eddie cannot be cured, and that her father is not present in her family's life is because he did not want to accept the challenge of raising a child with special needs. Tru's documentary of her brother's life wins the contest, and the family's joy reveals their deep friendship and love for each other, as well as a built-in support network created by three people who all need each other. The book alternates between entries in Tru's diary, Eddie's graphics on the computer, and scripts of Internet chats. This title's digital display will attract both computer fans and reluctant readers. The use of imaginative fonts, layout, and empty space lends authenticity to the mind of a creative and emotional twelve-year-old. The main audience appeal is younger teens, but many will appreciate Tru's candid look at life. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6--Trudy Walker would like to have her own TV program and find a cure for her developmentally delayed twin, Eddie. She is trying to deal with her mother's dates and worrying about getting Billy Meier to like her. Most of all, she feels guilty for being "normal" and blames herself for Eddie's condition. She tells her story through an electronic journal, though the high-tech angle loses something when put between the covers of a book. Eddie's computer-generated pictures appear throughout. Trudy plays with different fonts and occasionally adds graphics of her own. Unfortunately, the quirkiness quickly wears thin. In her attempt to get her own television show, Trudy enters her video about Eddie in a local public-access station's contest. Naturally, she wins, allowing her to preach about her brother and others like him to a wide audience. She is a loving and protective sister, though she is not above using Eddie for entertainment value herself. Perhaps her best moment comes when she realizes that she will mature, but Eddie never will. It's touching without being too sloppy. The most overdone element is her on-line chats with deedee, who is secretly Trudy's mother. This is a case of the gimmick and message getting in the way of the story. In addition, though none of the other characters ever achieves any depth, Trudy's voice at least is, well, true. A slice of life with a sermon running through it.--Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Kirkus Reviews
Tru, 12, keeps a journal on her mother's computer about what goes on in her life, and most of it is typical preteen stuff—school, friends, boys. She also writes of her two great dreams: to have a career in television, either in front of or behind the camera, and to use that career to investigate and film the latest research activities that might lead to a cure for her beloved twin brother, Eddie, who is developmentally disabled. An ad for a local cable television station's contest for aspiring television producers thrills her, and she sets to work on the essay, outline for a potential show, and demo tape. Her early efforts are polished but dull, so she is inspired to film Eddie himself. Tru wins, but her victory is bittersweet, for she realizes that any sort of "cure" for Eddie isn't very likely. This warm, funny debut has well-developed characters and a fast-moving plot. The dollops of computerese that appear in the journal will entertain the computer-literate, while the tale itself, about differences, family, friends, and the pain of growing up, will satisfy everyone else.

From the Publisher

“[Readers] will laugh their way through Tru's poignant and clever take on everyday life.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Fast and funny first-person novel.” —Booklist

“This warm, funny debut has well-developed characters and a fast-moving plot.” —Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466822917
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
10/16/2007
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
174
Sales rank:
663,428
File size:
560 KB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Tru Confessions

ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Enough About You, Let's Talk About Me

Most of my friends call me Trudy, but Denise and my family call me Tru. I keep asking my mother if I can change my name to Leah or Jamie or some normal name. She won't let me because everyone in her family for two hundred years has been named after a famous writer. I tell her Judy Blume and Ann Martin are famous writers and they have normal names, but she says Gertrude Stein was a writer from the twenties and I should be proud to be named after her. My mother was named after Virginia Woolf—another great writer but a suicide case like my uncle Tommy.

Miggs Macrides heard Denise call me Tru, so now he calls me Falsie. He's one of those kids who thinks his jokes are still funny three days after he says them. I think jokes are like soda; they lose their fizz pretty quickly.

The reason I know so much about jokes is because I've been the butt of a few of them. Mostly by association. My brother, Eddie, has special needs and, unfortunately, that sometimesbrings out the comedian in people who don't know him. I try to ignore the comments and have the relaxed attitude about life my mother has, but most of the time I end up worrying about stupid things—like homework, whether Billy Meier likes me, or if there's any disability in me. I worry about that last one because I'm Eddie's twin.

Asphyxia, that's what my mom called it—not getting enough oxygen. Poor Eddie was inside her suffocating and no one knew. I remember the day she explained it to me, I was bringing my bike into the garage. I asked her how to spell it twice, then traced the letters—a-s-p-h-y-x-i-a—on the seat of my bike with my finger. She didn't need to say it could have been me, 'cause I was thinking that already.

Eddie looks like my mother with his greenish eyes and dark brown hair. I take after my father—or so everyone says—with my blond hair and big ears. My mother says my father was a good guy (sensitive and well-meaning), but he just wasn't prepared for children, let alone twins, and one with special needs at that. He tried for the first two years of our lives to make it work, but when he got the opportunity to work in the Peace Corps in Africa, he jumped at the chance. My mom says it was probably the best thing, but I think charity begins at home.

My mother is a freelance graphic designer. Sometimes her work is in fancy magazines with her name printed in tiny letters along the side of the page. She works at companies for weeks or months part-time when they need help, then moves on to another place. Sometimes she even works on weekends. Because her computer is always set up on the dining room table, Eddie and I have learned how to use it, too. Especially Eddie. It's as if the is a race car, the way he moves and clicks it across the table. He loves to make all kinds of cool drawings on the computer. I write captions for them and hang them around the house. Whenever we get invited to a party (which isn't that often, now that I think about it), I pick out the present and Eddie designs the wrapping paper.

My mother says I should work on my self-esteem, so she tries to get me to do exercises to improve it. I tell her I feel okay in the self-esteem department and that I should be working on my math homework instead. But she usually insists, asking me to visualize myself on top of a mountain. I picture myself on top of Mount Everest (or at least how it looks at the travel agency in the mall), then I act strong and powerful for the rest of the afternoon so she thinks I'm making progress. I try to tell her Eddie is the one who needs assertivenesstraining, since he's the one who gets picked on more, but she says future women—she never says girls—need all the help they can get. Besides, she says, Eddie has a special angel with him all the time. Well, I wish his angel would visit me once in a while, especially if it's invisible, so it can go into Ms. Ramone's office and find the answers to Friday's math quiz.

But if I did have a wish—make that two—here's what they'd be: to have my own television show and for Eddie to be un-handicapped. My mother says goals are just dreams with deadlines and that anything is possible if you're willing to do the work to make it come true. As far as my two wishes go, I wouldn't want to put a deadline on either of them soon.

I've always wanted to be on TV—in front of or behind the camera. My favorite toy as a kid was this microphone that amplified your voice (like mine needs any amplification). Mom says I used to carry it everywhere with me, calling out prices in the grocery store, doing play-by-plays for neighborhood sporting events. Because she's not a ham-bone like me, my mom can never figure out why I perform in front of any video camera I see. My favorites are the hidden ones at the bank and my grandfather's apartment building. The person whomonitors the video cameras at the Bank of Boston probably groans every time I walk in. I like to think I add some entertainment to his or her day.

It's not like I'm some weirdo who just wants to be seen; who cares if the audience sees you if you don't have anything to say? I'm more like a director in training—digging up stories, filming documentaries that I hope will change the world. That's how I'll cure Eddie, uncovering some amazing new therapy through my meticulous research. Win the Nobel Prize while helping out my brother. All in a day's work.

These are the kinds of things I think about while I'm lying on my bed staring at the ceiling. I write my two dreams down on the palms of each hand, a to-do list tattoo. I don't really want anything else this year. Except maybe to go out with Billy Meier.

TRU CONFESSIONS. Copyright © 1997 by Janet Tashjian. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address Square Fish, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

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Meet the Author

Janet Tashjian received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. The Tashjian family is the recipient of the Kennedy Foundation Award for work in the field of mental retardation.

Janet lives in the Boston area with her husband and young son. Tru Confessions is her first book for young readers.


Janet Tashjian is a middle-grade and young adult novelist who’s been writing books for children for fifteen years. Her first novel 'Tru Confessions' was made into a critically acclaimed Disney TV movie starring Clara Bryant and Shia LaBeouf. 'The Gospel According to Larry' series is a cult favorite and 'Fault Line' is taught in many middle and high schools. Her novels 'My Life As a Book,' 'My Life As a Stuntboy,' and 'My Life As a Cartoonist' are all illustrated by her teenage son, Jake. Their collaboration continues with a new series, 'Einstein the Class Hamster.'





Janet has been doing school visits for fifteen years; you can email her for details.



You can follow her on Twitter and like her books on Facebook, and check out her YouTube Channel.

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Tru Confessions 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I THINK THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER BECAUSE, IT TEACHES THAT LIFE HAS MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO IT THAN YOURSELF. YOU DON'T ALWAYS HAVE TO THINK ABOUT YOURSELF THERE IS THINGS MORE IMPORTANT TO LIFE THAN YOURSELF. THINGS LIKE YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ARE REAL IMPORTANT. TRU ACTS REAL SELFISH IN THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY, SHE ONLY THINKS ABOUT HERSELF AND ABOUT KNOW ONE ELSE BUT HERSELF. SHE ALWAYS THINKS THAT EDDIE IS IN HER WAY AND, SHE ALWAYS SCREAMS AT EDDIE. BUT WHAT SHE DOSEN'T REALIZE IS THAT SHE IS HURTING EDDIES FEELINGS. EVERY TIME THAT SHE GETS MAD AT EDDIE SHE, SCREAMS AT HER MOM AS IF ITS HER MOM'S FAULT THAT EDDIE IS MENTALLY CHALLENGED. I HAVE A MENTALLY CHALLENGED BROTHER AND UNLIKE TRU I DON'T FEEL EMBARESSED OF HIM BEING MY BROTHER. IN FACT I AM PROUD OF HIM BECAUSE, EVERYDAY THAT PASSES HE IMPROVES MORE AND MORE. THIS STORY IS REAL SAD AND IT HAS A BEUTIFUL ENDING. TRU FINALLY REALIZES THAT THINGS ARE NOT ONLY ABOUT HER. IN THE BOOK TRU WANTS TO BECOME A STAR AND HER FRIEND TELLS HER ABOUT A CONTEST TO WIN A CHANCE TO MAKE HER OWN TV SHOW. SHE HAS TO ENTER A TAPE ABOUT A SHOW THAT SHE WOULD LIKE TO ENTER IN THE CONTEST. SHE STARTS LOOKING FOR IDEAS FOR THE TITLE OF HER TV SHOW AND DECIDES TO MAKE THE SHOW ABOUT HER BROTHER EDDIE. SHE CALLS IT A DAY IN THE LIFE OF EDDIE. WHEN SHE ENTERS THE CONTEST SHE WINS AND SHE GETS HER TAPE SHOWN ON A TV SHOW. I DON'T WANT TO GIVE EVERYTHING AWAY BUT ITS MY FAVORITE BOOK. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO EVERYBODY AND ESPECIALLY TO A PERSON WHO HAS A MENTALLY CHALLENGED BROTHER OR SISTER, OR JUST A MENTALLY CHALLENGED FAMILY MEMBER LIKE I DO. ITS GREAT AND I ALSO RECOMMEND FOR YOU TO SEE THE MOVIE ON DISNEY CHANNEL. ITS REAL GOOD AND I GUARANTEE THAT ITS OUGHT TO MAKE YOU CRY. SO TO CONCLUDE THIS REVIEW, I THINK YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK BECAUSE, IN MY OPINION ITS THE BEST BOOK I'VE EVER READ.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I haven't read it yet, but I did see the movie on Disney Channel, and if this book is anything like it, then it has to completely rock.
Guest More than 1 year ago
12 year old Tru wants two things more that anything else in the world- to find a cure for her twin brother Eddie, (he is mentally challeneged.) And to create her own television show.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i just finished reading this book and i love it! i love the way she reaches out to kids who have siblings especially by describing different things that's tru's feeling like jealousy. i would recommend this book to everyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I throughly enjoyed this book. It takes you into a the electronic diary of a 12 year old girl named Tru. She is worried about her developementaly delayed brother, Eddie. She also makes up stories about her dad who left them, so obviously this girl has some issues. Tru really wants her own tv show, so she enters a contest for a spot on the public access channel. To find out if she wins, you'll have to buy this excelent book yourself!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first got this book I could not put it down. Trudy lives with her mother and twin brother with special needs. She makes up stories of her father to ease the pain of him being gone. She sticks next to her brother and takes care of him. I have never seen anyone have such unconditional love for another person. She has a huge longing for a t.v. show and she gets it. Her life was filled with so much talent and love, she needed to share her story with the rest of the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is exactly what you've been looking for it's funny but yet sad ...it's perfect!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read Marty Frye, Private Eye and THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LARRY and then i read this book and I plan to soon read Multiple Choice. but this book was probley 6 or 7 on top list. I like how Janet Tashjian makes a serious subject like Mentaly Chalenged people and kind of make it humerous and sad at the same time
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book because it's funny but also sad at the same time. I first saw the movie based on the book. (It was never brought to theaters. It's only showed on The Disney Channel) If you enjoy sad and humorous books you should read it. I reccomend it for ages 9-12.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a really great book. I loved the way she would use different styles of writing. It had a bit of everything. I reccomend this book to everybody.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have not yet read the book yet But i saw the move and it was fantastic it made me cry cause i am in the same situation with my Brother except we are a year apart i am planning on going to get the book because my older sister says it is an fantastic one thats why i give it a 5.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I havent read this book yet-but Iam definatly planning to! It sounds grand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that tru confessiosn is a great book for kids and adults. It was so good that disney has or is making a movie about it!!! It is very moving and funny at the same time.