An unsent letter in a first edition copy of Charlotte’s Web leads to a hunt for treasure in this heartwarming middle grade mystery from the author of The Mother-Daughter Book Club.
Now that Truly Lovejoy’s father has been injured by an IED in Afghanistan and is having trouble finding work back home, the family moves from Texas to tiny Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, to take over Lovejoy’s Books, a struggling bookstore that’s been in the family for one hundred years.
With two older brothers and two younger sisters clamoring for attention, her mother back in school, and everyone up to their eyebrows trying to keep Lovejoy’s Books afloat, Truly feels more overlooked than usual. So she pours herself into uncovering the mystery of an undelivered letter she finds stuck in a valuable autographed first edition of Charlotte’s Web, which subsequently goes missing from the bookshop. What’s inside the envelope leads Truly and her new Pumpkin Falls friends on a madcap treasure hunt around town, chasing clues that could spell danger.
Fans of Heather Vogel Frederick’s Mother-Daughter Book Club series “will rejoice for a new series with a similarly cozy New England setting, great characters, and literary references to beloved classics” (School Library Journal).
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers|
|Series:||Pumpkin Falls Series , #1|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Lexile:||790L (what's this?)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Charles Santoso loves drawing little things in his little journal and dreaming about wondrous stories. He gathers inspiration from his childhood memories, and curiosities he discovers in his everyday travels. He has illustrated several picture books, including I Don’t Like Koala by Sean Ferrell. Charles also works as a visual development artist, creating illustrations for feature film projects. He lives and works in Sydney, Australia. You can visit him at CharlesSantoso.com.
Read an Excerpt
“What is THIS supposed to mean?” my father demanded as I followed my brother through the front door, our arms full of boxes. My father stalked across the entry hall, waving a slip of paper at me with his good hand.
Hatcher flashed me a sympathetic look and vanished upstairs. I didn’t blame him; I’d have done the same thing in his place. No one wants to face the wrath of Lieutenant Colonel Jericho T. Lovejoy.
“An F plus in pre-algebra?” The chill in my father’s voice could have single-handledly reversed global warming. “F plus, Truly?”
Yes, that’s really my name. It’s a family thing.
“Does that mean you almost passed, or that you failed spectacularly?” My father pinned me with one of his signature glares.
I hadn’t counted on this—I thought it would take at least a week for mail from Texas to reach the East Coast. And I’d counted on being able to snag this particular envelope from the mailbox before anyone else spotted it.
“Um,” I said.
“This is unacceptable, young lady.”
Silence is the best strategy when my father gets like this.
“I don’t understand it,” he continued, pacing back and forth. “Not one bit. Lovejoys can do anything! We’re naturally good at math.”
Actually, there’s a whole long list of things I can’t do and that I’m not good at. Usually, though, math isn’t one of them. It’s one of my favorite subjects, in fact. But how was I supposed to concentrate on stupid pre-algebra when my world had been turned upside down? The F plus wasn’t my fault; it was his, and I said so under my breath.
My father stopped midpace. “What was that?”
“Nothing, sir,” I mumbled.
My father isn’t one of those hypermilitary dads—when we lived on the base in Colorado, I had a friend whose father used to do actual room inspections for her and her brother every Saturday morning in full dress uniform, white gloves and all; still, all of us Lovejoy kids have been trained to add “sir” to the end of our sentences when we’re talking to our dad, especially when we want to be on his good side.
And with a math grade like mine, that was definitely the side I wanted to be on.
My father grabbed his coat from off the banister. I resisted the urge to offer some help as he swung it awkwardly around his shoulders. No point adding fuel to the fire. “Wait until your mother hears about this.”
That wasn’t a conversation I was looking forward to. When my father’s mad, at least everything’s out in the open and you know where you stand. With my mother, whenever one of us messes up, she just looks at us sorrowfully and shakes her head, like we’re the biggest disappointment in the history of the world. Which I probably am.
“Finish unpacking the car,” my father said. “I’m heading back to the bookstore. And don’t forget, you and Hatcher have Kitchen Patrol tonight.”
And with that he left, slamming the door behind him.
I slumped down on the hall bench and banged my forehead against one of the boxes I was holding. It was so unfair! The math grade, the move—everything! Why couldn’t we have just stayed in Texas?
This time, there wasn’t even the prospect of moving someplace decent again in a year or two either. This time, I was stuck. Forever. In population you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very rarely do i find a book that is sweet and gentle yet does not leave me bored. This was one of them. It was such a feel good book, and it left you with a great feeling. I would recommend this to anybody, because with so much happening in our own lived, sometimes you cant put up with reading sad dark books that are almost always found in the YA section of libraries. Enjoy this book!
I read it with my daughter and she enjoyed it a lot. There is humor, interesting characters with different backgrounds, a mystery. Highly recommended for readers ages around 10 years old.
In “Absolutely Truly” the story takes place in Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, about a girl names Truly, who is extraordinarily tall at age 12. Truly’s family just moved from Texas, and the family is struggling. Her father was injured during a battle in Afghanistan, and he’s been struggling to find a good job. Truly wants to hide in the shadows at her new school, and to join the swim team, but she has to work hard to raise her grades. When Truly starts getting settled into her new home and she makes a few friends, she finds a strange letter in her family’s bookstore. So her friends and she go on an adventure to find the story behind the letters. I enjoyed reading Absolutely Truly. The book has a more realistic storyline and action, which was different from the books I read before. I liked the humor in the story, and the tense action. There are some unrealistic aspects, but they just add to the humor. I didn’t spend all of my free time reading the book, but I’d occasionally take a break to read for a while. I liked the fact that the main character Truly made some mistakes and had some “imperfections” like people in real life. I liked the book, but I don’t think I would read it more than twice. I think Absolutely Truly is a good book. It is recommended for people ages 8 to 12, and I think that’s a good recommendation. I don’t think I will reread it, but it’s still a good book to read. I wouldn’t suggest the book for anyone who doesn’t like a book about everyday life. While Absolutely Truly is a mystery book, even if you don’t like mystery, you should try reading a few pages, because I didn’t like fiction, but I liked the book. Yours Truly is the book after Absolutely Truly, so if anyone wants to continue the series, that’s the next book, which is also about a mystery. I really think Absolutely Truly is a good book, and it can leave a message to younger kids.
This is an exceptional book, in the way of middle school mysteries that I enjoyed as a kid. It blends the issues of today's world, a quaint town, pets, small town life and mysteries and friendships.