Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kid Konnection: The Whole Truth by Kit Pearson

The Whole Truth by Kit Pearson (Rated: C)
HarperCollins Canada
ISBN: 978-1554688524
Published August 8, 2011
Hardcover, 256 pages

Kit Pearson, one of Canada's best children's author has done it again. With superb storytelling, Pearson has captured the time period of 1932 in Vancouver through the eyes of a 10 year-old in her historical fiction novel, The Whole Truth.

Newly orphaned Polly and her older sister, Maud leave their home in Winnipeg to go live with their grandmother and other family members on Kingfisher Island. She and her sister share a life-altering secret they promise never to reveal. As they adapt to their new life, the secret becomes harder to keep as each of the sisters learn new things that threaten to test their loyalty to each other and their family.

My daughter and I simply savoured this book. We read it together every night. It opened up a whole new world for my daughter because of the setting, the era of the Great Depression. Pearson knows how to build characters so real they jump off the pages. Her story captures the essence of childhood in the 1930s, making it not only a very refreshing story to read but one we learned from. Pearson builds the suspense without losing the wonderful and realistic details of the character's lives.

Bits and pieces of the truth about Polly's father are revealed as the story progresses, but my daughter and I were still left wondering about something that happened before Polly was born. It has to do with why Polly's parents fought with her grandmother and left the island. The grandmother explains it as not a topic to discuss with children and Polly feels she will probably find out one day. For this reason, my daughter hopes for a sequel, for the story to continue. As an adult, I appreciated that sometimes we only reveal things to our children when they are older and more ready.

This book deals well with many issues that are serious: what parents will do to ensure their children's safety, the knowledge that all adults do things that are wrong, learning to forgive, and the burden of carrying a great secret. It's a rich story with good characters, a memorable setting and a well-paced plot. I could easily see it as a movie. Highly recommended.

I will count this book toward the following challenges: Middle Grade Book Challenge, Reading the World Challenge, Historical Fiction Challenge

Disclosure: Thanks to Shannon Parsons from HarperCollins for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called Kid Konnection—a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, visit Booking Mama.

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  1. This sounds like a great one for Booking Daughter and I to read together.

  2. I can tell from your enthusiastic review how much you and your daughter loved this book. I will be putting it on my wish list after reading how much you loved it and recommend it. Great review!

  3. I love to read about the Depression - I really admire the way people persevered at that time. I'm also intrigued by secrets in books. This book sounds good to me!


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