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True (...Sort Of)
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True (...Sort Of)

4.6 75
by Katherine Hannigan

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True: Delly Pattison likes surpresents (presents that are a surprise). The day the Boyds come to town, Delly's sure a special surpresent is on its way. But lately, everything that she thinks will be good and fun turns into trouble. She's never needed a surpresent more than now.

True: Brud Kinney wants to play basketball like nothing anybody's ever seen. When the


True: Delly Pattison likes surpresents (presents that are a surprise). The day the Boyds come to town, Delly's sure a special surpresent is on its way. But lately, everything that she thinks will be good and fun turns into trouble. She's never needed a surpresent more than now.

True: Brud Kinney wants to play basketball like nothing anybody's ever seen. When the Boyds arrive, though, Brud meets someone who plays like nothing he's ever seen.

True: Ferris Boyd isn't like anyone Delly or Brud have ever met. Ferris is a real mysturiosity (an extremely curious mystery).

True: Katherine Hannigan's first novel since her acclaimed Ida B is a compelling look at the ways friendships and truths are discovered.

It's all true (…sort of).

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A serious story about child abuse gets lost in Hannigan's (Ida B) overlong novel that too often crosses the line from quirky to twee. After a childhood clashing with her parents, school, and police for offenses ranging from self-harm to brownie theft, 11-year-old Delaware Pattison is one strike from being sent to some unspecified "away." The fifth of six children (all named after places), Delly, as she's known, needs more attention from her working parents. Instead she latches onto new girl Ferris, who has an androgynous appearance, does not speak, and cannot be touched. Despite these hurdles, Delly makes Ferris her project. Delly has an extensive vocabulary of made-up words like chizzle and hideawaysis (a three-page glossary is appended), which gives her a cartoonish quality that is an uneasy fit with the gravity of the underlying plot. Many questions are left unanswered: where is Ferris's mother? why do teachers accept that Ferris cannot talk or be touched without further inquiry? After a lengthy setup, the ending feels rushed, dulling the impact of its important message about speaking up when someone is in danger. Ages 8–12. (May)
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Small, impetuous, and imaginative Delly Pattison has gotten into trouble so many times that she has driven her mother to tears. Try as she might, nothing seems to work for Delly until an enigma named Ferris Boyd joins her fifth grade class. At first Delly mistakes Ferris for a boy, and wonders why her new classmate doesn't speak or want anyone to touch her. Slowly, over the course of the school year and the following summer, trust develops between Delly, her little brother RB, and Ferris. Their friendship grows strong. Delly and Ferris have opposite reactions to situations, and it is RB who becomes the bridge between the two personalities. Delly grows from a self-centered child to one who wants to shelter her friend from her abusive father. Hannigan develops the story both through the setting and the characters. Delly's compassionate and loving mother is a wonderful and wise character. A dictionary in the back of the book lists Delly's inventive words, such as "Dellyventure," and " hideawaysis." Do not be surprised if you hear some students using her no-cuss word, "bawlgrammit." The story leaves the reader with many thoughts about how we see ourselves, how we think others see us, how we hide within ourselves, what it means to be a "hummin bin," and the importance of trust and friendship in our lives. Hannigan has given her readers a real "surpresent." Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
Kirkus Reviews

Impetuous, mercurial Delaware Pattison, stuttering Brud and silent, lonely Ferris find an intertwined salvation.

Delly, an impulsive middle child loved by her parents and tagalong young brother, meets life on her own terms and with such self-centered focus that she bends language to suit and reflect her. A ride home inOfficer Tibbetts' squad car is a "Dellylivery"; "What the glub?" Delly exclaims, citing her "nocussictionary"; she anticipates "surpresents" especially for her; Ferris' treehouse is a "hideawaysis." (An appended glossary—Dellyictionary—offers 40 of these portmanteaux). Brud longs to shoot baskets like Ferris, a girl so silent and thin that both he and Delly think she's a boy. Ferris fascinates Delly with her solitude and ability to connect with wild creatures and Brud with her miraculous basketball skills. Delly's teachers, though aware of Ferris' elective mutism and fear of being touched, don't question the girl's safety at home. But Delly notices scars on Ferris's back and gets a bad feeling about Ferris' normal-seeming father. There's a lot going on, and Delly's quirky language occasionally threatens to obscure the plot. Ferris is rescued, at least temporarily, but young readers may be left wondering whether adults are truly capable of protecting them.

Plenty of action and dialogue carry this uneven story along.(Fiction. 9-12)

School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Are we defined by the labels others assign to us? Does friendship have the power to transform our lives? Hannigan tackles these questions and more in this story. Delly Pattison is strong on creativity, a dangerous thing since the idea of impulse control has never crossed her mind. Constantly being told how bad she is eventually makes for one angry kid, and when she is 11 and resorts to fistfights, she is on the verge of being sent to an alternative school. As she struggles to control her behavior, Delly begins to notice a new classmate. Ferris Boyd doesn't speak and can't be touched, yet the two bridge the gap. Trust and friendship follow, and are strong enough to handle crisis when it occurs. Told in carefully crafted language that begs to be read aloud, the story runs the gamut from laugh-out-loud funny to emotionally wrenching. Readers will likely be divided in their response to Delly's propensity for combining existing words into new ones; a present that's a surprise, for example, is a "surpresent." The same may be said of the touches of magical realism that occasionally advance the plot. Even those who quibble with bits and pieces will find meaty themes, a host of fleshed-out characters, and the same storyteller's ear that created Ida B. (Greenwillow, 2004).—Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Katherine Hannigan's first novel, Ida B ...and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World was a New York Times bestseller, a Book Sense bestseller, and a Parents' Choice Gold Award winner, and it appeared on more than twenty-five state award lists. She (and several wild rabbits) live at the edge of a meadow in northeastern Iowa.

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True (. . . Sort of) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 75 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great!! It showed how "troublemakers" can turn from their bad habits. It also shows how any one can make a friend as long as you have faith. There is always a way to help the ones you love. Again this an amazing and humorous book that I would recommend to anyone and all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
True is full of adventures and arguments. Things in the book get really intense.
Sun Balan More than 1 year ago
Really really good! I absolutely loved this book. I wish it were cheaper though
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book filled with adventure, mystery, fun, and charactor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although this book is probably aimed at a younger audience, I read it as an eighth grader and thought that it was amazing! I loved the loyalty shown in the growing friendship between Delly and Ferris and the author's way of portraying a powerful message through a unique plot. This book is delightful but surprisingly moving!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that this book is a very good bok so far because a girl named Delly Patteson. She always gets in trouble. She is in 5th grade I think. But she climbed on top of the roof at school and got in big trouble. There is a basketball court at their school and there is the united states of america map on the blacktop. Alaska is where the time out is. Delly had to stnd there and she got so mad that she started to fight with some kid. 9 seconds of fighting. 6 secinds for the teacher to get over there and get Delly off the kid. There was fifteen seconds of fighting and Delky had to sit on Alaska for another 9000 seconds. She started to cry but she didn't because she stopped herself by closing her eyes tight and started slapping Alaska below her. Tgen she started to say that her name was I am always in trouble. She said that to herself and didn't cry. 2 seconds later the teacher came over and said to Delly that stop slapping the ground. Well I could tell you guys the whole story now but I won't. I would reccommend this book to 8 to 12 year okds because this book is very good so far. I am only on page 15,16, or 17. But any ways this book is rwally good. I shouldn't just say good I should say AWESOME!! But anyways this book is really Awesome. Bye guys. I hope you guts like it. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was probbaly the best book in thee whole entire world. I never even heard of it ! Anyways, i tried it and fell in love. Anyone should read this because of it itself and how well it it written! In #love with this #book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have to read it is the best book in the universe i love it its not about sex and raping you retards its my favorite book on earth i love delly
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Spreads her legs
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is the best you have to read it very good i be saying how good it is for hours an
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book should be the number one best book in the world! I wish I could give it 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars because it is so good. No better book. Read it!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You need to read it i also suggest snother book by the same author its called lda b
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I chose this book for a class book because it was about a girl who gets in crazy kinds of trouble without meaning too. It fit the profile for many of my students, so I knew character traits would be easy to follow. I only just finished reading it on my own. Lesson #1 - finish reading the class novel before starting it. That way MAYBE you can control your emotions while reading it out loud. Although the kids do enjoy when I have to stop reading from laughing so hard. Lesson #2 - buy lots of tissues because the character conflict changes are HUGE. This book is fantastic. There are sweet twists and drastic twists. I won't be the person who gives the book away. Read it. Have ample tissues ready.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just kidding i have never reaad it but want to. Read hunger games divergent insurgent allegiant house of hades
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book about the three friends and how they became friends. It is truely a touching story that has everything a good read needs. Hope you enjoy it too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book! (: I read it in a day... Good job Katherine..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 10 year old daughter loved it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is exciting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago