Each summer, I try to read as many books on the Maine Student Book Award list as I can. Here is one I enjoyed very much and recommend highly.
True...(Sort of) by Katherine Hannigan Ages 9-13
True for sure.....you will love Delly and her "Dellyventures" (she uses so many Dellyisms that there is a "Dellyictionary" in the back of the book). Where there's Delly, trouble is not far behind. At 11 years old, Delly has been in trouble so often that it has become her identity. Nearly everyone has given up on her and she is close to being expelled from school. Finally, when she thinks her mother is giving up on her, she decides to try to stay out of trouble. That's when she starts to befriend the new girl, Ferris Boyd.
Ferris is very nearly Delly's complete opposite. She is shy and does not speak at all. And although the children don't understand why, Ferris can not stand to be touched. Through her patient persistence, Delly gets Ferris to trust her and they become friends. Delly manages to stay out of trouble for weeks, party because she is spending every day after school with Ferris. Delly has finally made her first friend.
But Delly is not the only one who is becoming friends with Ferris. Brud Kinney, a young boy who wants to be a great basketball player, has been playing basketball with Ferris every Sunday for weeks. Ferris is the best basketball player he has ever seen and he loves play with her although he loses every time. Brud also assumes Ferris is a boy and is quite surprised when he finds out otherwise. Delly is forced to deal with her jealousy when she finds out that Ferris has another special friend.
The story takes a sad turn when Delly suspects that something bad is happening to her friend Ferris at home. She is forced to make some really tough decisions in order to help her friend.
This book deals with some tough topics such as bullying, fitting in, jealousy and child abuse. By sharing her inner thoughts, Delly gives us a look into how a child with behavior difficulties might be feeling. I enjoyed this book so much that I plan to read it to my fourth grade class later this year. Although the topic of abuse is sad, scary and uncomfortable, I feel the lesson learned from the choices Delly makes to help her friend is well worth exploring.