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Mostly the Honest Truth

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After Pop is sent back to rehab, Jane Pengilly arrives at her newest foster home determined to stick to the straight and narrow and get back to her beloved dad as soon as she can. It’s not the first time they’ve been apart, but Jane’s determined it will be the last. Twelve days out in the boonies of Three Boulders makes Jane miss Pop more than ever. But as the days go by, s After Pop is sent back to rehab, Jane Pengilly arrives at her newest foster home determined to stick to the straight and narrow and get back to her beloved dad as soon as she can. It’s not the first time they’ve been apart, but Jane’s determined it will be the last. Twelve days out in the boonies of Three Boulders makes Jane miss Pop more than ever. But as the days go by, she realizes that family is more than who you’re related to—and that a home can be found in the unlikeliest of places.


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After Pop is sent back to rehab, Jane Pengilly arrives at her newest foster home determined to stick to the straight and narrow and get back to her beloved dad as soon as she can. It’s not the first time they’ve been apart, but Jane’s determined it will be the last. Twelve days out in the boonies of Three Boulders makes Jane miss Pop more than ever. But as the days go by, s After Pop is sent back to rehab, Jane Pengilly arrives at her newest foster home determined to stick to the straight and narrow and get back to her beloved dad as soon as she can. It’s not the first time they’ve been apart, but Jane’s determined it will be the last. Twelve days out in the boonies of Three Boulders makes Jane miss Pop more than ever. But as the days go by, she realizes that family is more than who you’re related to—and that a home can be found in the unlikeliest of places.

30 review for Mostly the Honest Truth

  1. 5 out of 5

    Hazel

    I had read this book about 3 years ago and thought it was just ok. I just finished rereading it and cried and smiled. I can't wait to read it a third time. I had read this book about 3 years ago and thought it was just ok. I just finished rereading it and cried and smiled. I can't wait to read it a third time.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    @kidlitexchange #partner #kidlitexchange Thank you for the opportunity to preview this free review copy that comes out in March! All opinions are my own. I absolutely devoured this book. Coming from a family very similar to this, I can attest to the authenticity of Jane’s thoughts and feelings. The weight of Jane’s situation is something that no kid should have to go through but has to all the time just the same. Too many kids have unhealthy relationships with alcoholic parents and they never ge @kidlitexchange #partner #kidlitexchange Thank you for the opportunity to preview this free review copy that comes out in March! All opinions are my own. I absolutely devoured this book. Coming from a family very similar to this, I can attest to the authenticity of Jane’s thoughts and feelings. The weight of Jane’s situation is something that no kid should have to go through but has to all the time just the same. Too many kids have unhealthy relationships with alcoholic parents and they never get the chance to see the light. But Jane’s story offers hope. Hope that there are others out there like you. Hope that things can change. Hope that you don’t have to be alone in your struggles and that sometimes it’s best to tell the honest truth instead of the half truths that never give the full story. I’m so happy that Jane’s story ended on the hopeful note that it did. I have to admit, I was a little worried with what Jane’s honest truth was going to be and I was very relieved that I was wrong. I wholeheartedly recommend this book being bought for all middle school libraries. Little knocks it out of the park with this one!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laura (bbliophile)

    More like a 3.5 stars. I liked the story and the family aspects of it, but there were a few things I had problems with.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Edelweiss Plus After Jane injures her hand when her father is passed out drunk, she is sent to temporary foster care for the fourth time, this time with Officer D, whom she befriended previously. Officer D lives in a collaborative community called Three Boulders that is far from town and has a kibbutz like system for jobs and caring for the young. After making friends with G and the other children in the community, Jane is still counting the days (12, total) until she can be with her P E ARC from Edelweiss Plus After Jane injures her hand when her father is passed out drunk, she is sent to temporary foster care for the fourth time, this time with Officer D, whom she befriended previously. Officer D lives in a collaborative community called Three Boulders that is far from town and has a kibbutz like system for jobs and caring for the young. After making friends with G and the other children in the community, Jane is still counting the days (12, total) until she can be with her Pop again. Questions arise about how the injury really occurred, however, and after being visited by a social worker, Jane manages to get to town and visit her father. There are problems with Three Boulders as well, since the elderly founder wants to sell the land to pay for his end-of-life care. Jane is desperate to get back together with Pop, although she starts to realize that it might not be in her best interest to do so. With the help and support of Officer D and the other members of Three Boulders, Jane starts to put together a new expectation for normal. Strengths: I was really intrigued by the idea of temporary foster care, and the idea of a commune type community in the modern day. Officer D is a supportive and caring foster parent, and hearing about former placements Jane had was interesting as well. It was good to see Jane make a friend right away, and realistic that she wanted to get back to her father as soon as possible. Weaknesses: The Three Boulders community was interesting but a bit odd, and I kept expecting something else to happen with it, like the residents were all really space aliens. They weren't, but something about the whole set up put me on edge. Jane's injuries had a hidden, horrific cause that might be traumatic for students younger than fifth grade to read about. What I really think: I prefer Galante's excellent Strays Like Us is, and I also have a number of other books with character in foster care, including One for the Murphys, Gill's Scarlet Ibis, Carter's Forever, or a Long, Long Time, Davis' Peas and Carrots, Every Shiny Thing, and Little Bits of Sky. This had an odd vibe to it, so I may pass. I have a decent number of students who are themselves in foster care, but I usually never know this until they leave, so I try to be careful about the books I have depicting variations of this experience.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Momo

    3.5 I really enjoyed this novel and getting to know Jane and seeing her grow closer to everyone in Three Boulders. Though it's a lighthearted novel, there are some dark events that happen and the relationship between Jane and her Pop is so sad and unhealthy. My heart hurt a bit reading the honest truth of how her hand got hurt. It wasn't perfect, but I think this was pretty great for a debut. One thing that had me side eye just a little was how Three Boulders just seemed a little like....a cult? I 3.5 I really enjoyed this novel and getting to know Jane and seeing her grow closer to everyone in Three Boulders. Though it's a lighthearted novel, there are some dark events that happen and the relationship between Jane and her Pop is so sad and unhealthy. My heart hurt a bit reading the honest truth of how her hand got hurt. It wasn't perfect, but I think this was pretty great for a debut. One thing that had me side eye just a little was how Three Boulders just seemed a little like....a cult? I don't know, that's the sort of vibe I got from it but I guess there are communities like Three Boulders but I agree with Jane that it's definitely a strange place. Boonieville, as she says.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Dulaney

    This debut novel for grades 4-6 is a must-have for libraries with high circulation numbers for authors like Joan Bauer, Cynthia Lord, Lisa Graff and Barbara O’Connor. 11 year old Jane is not like most kids her age and often finds herself in foster care for 12 day stints as her dad goes in and out of rehab. But she and Pop are like a matched pair of socks and must stay together. However, this 12 day separation is different. Foster mom Officer D genuinely cares for her, her home in Three Boulders This debut novel for grades 4-6 is a must-have for libraries with high circulation numbers for authors like Joan Bauer, Cynthia Lord, Lisa Graff and Barbara O’Connor. 11 year old Jane is not like most kids her age and often finds herself in foster care for 12 day stints as her dad goes in and out of rehab. But she and Pop are like a matched pair of socks and must stay together. However, this 12 day separation is different. Foster mom Officer D genuinely cares for her, her home in Three Boulders is unlike any place Jane has ever lived in or ever heard of. And this time, she has a badly injured hand and a secret. Readers will cry with and root for Jane, her new friend Gertie, and even Pop. Highly recommended with absolutely no reservations due to content.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Naomi Milliner

    I enjoyed this book so much! The MC, Jane, is sweet, brave, charming, and (mostly) truthful. And if she's not enough on her own (which she most definitely is), the supporting cast of characters is one of the best I've seen. The town she finds herself temporarily "stuck" in is called Three Boulders, and it is small in size but huge in charm. I kind of want to live there myself. This book will make you smile, laugh and cry. It's really a wonderful read (and that's the truth). I enjoyed this book so much! The MC, Jane, is sweet, brave, charming, and (mostly) truthful. And if she's not enough on her own (which she most definitely is), the supporting cast of characters is one of the best I've seen. The town she finds herself temporarily "stuck" in is called Three Boulders, and it is small in size but huge in charm. I kind of want to live there myself. This book will make you smile, laugh and cry. It's really a wonderful read (and that's the truth).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Baobablady (Stacy Greene)

    A friend gave me an ARC of this book and I must say that I absolutely loved it! From the moment I started reading, I was hooked! I finished the book in two days. I would have finished it in one sitting if I had not had to go to work! This book stars Jane Pengilly who is in foster care and just wants to be reunited with her dad. This book features real-life issues and struggles (i.e. alcoholism) and everything is presented from a sensitive and understanding perspective. The book was a great read a A friend gave me an ARC of this book and I must say that I absolutely loved it! From the moment I started reading, I was hooked! I finished the book in two days. I would have finished it in one sitting if I had not had to go to work! This book stars Jane Pengilly who is in foster care and just wants to be reunited with her dad. This book features real-life issues and struggles (i.e. alcoholism) and everything is presented from a sensitive and understanding perspective. The book was a great read and was funny, compassionate and full of mystery! One of the things I loved most about the book was the writing style of the author, the expressions she used and her descriptions. For example... "man paws" "...digging in her brain for the right words." "...there, sitting in a rickety rocking chair next to the door, was the oldest dude I'd ever seen. "...And he was sound asleep. Or maybe dead." "...Mrs. Biggs opened the door and in stepped the ancient dude from the porch. I guess he wasn't dead." I loved the story! Also, I did not guess the ending. When the mystery came out I was just as surprised as the audience. I am a teacher and am looking forward to sharing this book with students, other middle-grade readers in my life and even adult friends! Amazing author, amazing story! I can't wait to read other books by Jody J. Little.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Thomas

    Mostly the Honest Truth is such a feel good story about realizing that family doesn’t have to be blood. Jane is a spunky girl who finds herself at a community called Three Boulders while her Pop is back in rehab on another 12 day sprint to get dry again. Jane goes to Three Boulder with the idea that she will just be present, get through her 12 days, and go back to Pop for some not so good Pop and Jane days again, but the universe has a different idea. I love the friendships that transpire in the Mostly the Honest Truth is such a feel good story about realizing that family doesn’t have to be blood. Jane is a spunky girl who finds herself at a community called Three Boulders while her Pop is back in rehab on another 12 day sprint to get dry again. Jane goes to Three Boulder with the idea that she will just be present, get through her 12 days, and go back to Pop for some not so good Pop and Jane days again, but the universe has a different idea. I love the friendships that transpire in the story and the relationships between family. This is a story I know my 5th graders will enjoy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gillian

    The honest truth is that I loved this warm, heartfelt book. Jane is a wonderful main character, extremely protective of her alcoholic father. After an accident (and investigation) Jane is placed in communal foster care. I loved the descriptions of Three Boulders and would love to go there and meet all the characters I grew to love. Beautiful themes of family and learning to open up to others.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Jane is fiercely devoted to her Pop. She can get through twelve day stints in foster care so he can get better—she knows they are the perfect pair. When she arrives at the peculiar Three Boulders community she expects this time to be like all the others, but it’s definitely not the case when she arrives with a serious wrist injury. She’d rather not talk about it and just get through the time without a fuss; however, the people she meets are kind, school is more interesting, activities are fun, a Jane is fiercely devoted to her Pop. She can get through twelve day stints in foster care so he can get better—she knows they are the perfect pair. When she arrives at the peculiar Three Boulders community she expects this time to be like all the others, but it’s definitely not the case when she arrives with a serious wrist injury. She’d rather not talk about it and just get through the time without a fuss; however, the people she meets are kind, school is more interesting, activities are fun, and the food is delicious—she just might let her guard down. I loved this charmingly tender debut novel by Jody J. Little as it tackled hard subjects in a thoughtful and meaningful way, emphasizing that you don’t have to go at it alone and to never lose hope.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Murphy

    Kindness flourishes & beautiful friendships emerge in Jody J Little's debut about a spirited, brave girl separated from her Pop who is placed in alcoholism rehab. The serious issue of alcoholism is tastefully told for the MG audience. Jane is a spunky girl place in a nontraditional foster care setting. It is a touching story of friendship. family, love and hope. The story is one of compassion and how family can mean more than your biological family. Many young people must meet life with enduranc Kindness flourishes & beautiful friendships emerge in Jody J Little's debut about a spirited, brave girl separated from her Pop who is placed in alcoholism rehab. The serious issue of alcoholism is tastefully told for the MG audience. Jane is a spunky girl place in a nontraditional foster care setting. It is a touching story of friendship. family, love and hope. The story is one of compassion and how family can mean more than your biological family. Many young people must meet life with endurance. Little's book may be a window or a mirror for readers. Sharing the kindness of others is such a strong theme. Highly recommend this one.

  13. 5 out of 5

    KellyLKC

    Kidlit Exchange Partner - Thanks to Kidlit Exchange for the ARC of this book. All opinions are my own. Eleven-year-old Jane Penguilly is looking at twelve days in her (fourth) temporary foster home. She's gone to live with old frenemy Officer D in a community in the sticks that more resembles a campground than a town. Three Boulders, population 56, which would smack of a creepy cult (laws set by secretive founder Old Red include mandates that everybody must play softball, eat meals together, etc Kidlit Exchange Partner - Thanks to Kidlit Exchange for the ARC of this book. All opinions are my own. Eleven-year-old Jane Penguilly is looking at twelve days in her (fourth) temporary foster home. She's gone to live with old frenemy Officer D in a community in the sticks that more resembles a campground than a town. Three Boulders, population 56, which would smack of a creepy cult (laws set by secretive founder Old Red include mandates that everybody must play softball, eat meals together, etc) if everybody wasn’t so nice. Jane makes fast friends with Gertie (or G) who’s basically a non-sociopathic version of Harriet The Spy. With the help of hippie klepto Loam Moonbeam, Jane and G try to reunite Jane with her (unrealistically kind and loving for an alcoholic) father in rehab. But Three Boulders has secrets, and Jane has secrets, and keeping them quiet might destroy both. Jane needs to open and retrain her mind to accept others' love and help so that she can save herself, her family, and Three Boulders. Pop’s alcoholism and the mention of Old Red’s drunk accidental shooting of a boy may be triggering to some readers. Pop’s manipulative, isolationist and erratic behavior is certainly on point. But here's why I didn't give this review five stars: Kids need windows and mirrors, and coming from an extended family rich with this "disease", MOSTLY THE HONEST TRUTH paints a way too rosy picture of alcoholism and alcoholics. Pop is simply portrayed as "a fun dad who unfortunately has difficulty holding a job and sleeps a lot, leaving bill-paying, meal prep, etc to Jane often because he drinks too much and then sleeps for too long". I wish Little had forayed into the gleefully evil, destructive behavior of most alcoholics. She's written such a powerful, amazing story, with vibrant characters, that MOSTLY THE HONEST TRUTH could have carried a lot of ugly truths about alcoholism. Jane does love her father, and really doesn’t seem to hold Old Red accountable for his horrible actions (grand larceny from his brother in addition to the shooting). While Pop is a terrible father, he seems to actually love Jane and looks to build her up. That said: Had Little chosen ANY other familial dysfunction (or not hit so close to home), I’d have given this book a glowing review. Because of the plot twists and turns, the rich character development, crazy sub-plots ingeniously tied into "all the feels", and the general neat concept of life at a campground, I will eagerly check out this author's next book. In short, this is a book a child should read, but with the caveat that alcoholism is much more dangerous than shown here.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Hunnicutt

    Thanks to the #kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own! This was a great middle level read about a girl named Jane. She has an alcoholic father and is a really good person. She is a character that grows on you slowly, so slowly that you don’t realize how much you love her until the end of the book! Jane gets moved away from her father by social services after an accident. Her father has to go to rehab but this is the third time this has happened. She knows Thanks to the #kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own! This was a great middle level read about a girl named Jane. She has an alcoholic father and is a really good person. She is a character that grows on you slowly, so slowly that you don’t realize how much you love her until the end of the book! Jane gets moved away from her father by social services after an accident. Her father has to go to rehab but this is the third time this has happened. She knows that she just has to be good for 12 days – the length of his previous rehab stays – and she will be reunited with a sober father (or so she hopes). Her foster parent this time is unusual. She is a police officer that is basically the only family friend she’s ever had. And the police officer lives in a little community called Three Boulders. It’s basically like a hippie commune mixed with a summer camp. Everyone has jobs and pulls their weight at Three Boulders. Everyone eats at a mess hall for their meals. They have an interesting school that meets a few times a week and does a lot of independent study (Jane is into this since she has a “jumpy” brain). Jane ends up befriending a girl named Gertie, or G. As she and Gertie become friends, Jane uncovers more and more secrets. Jane has plenty of her own that she is keeping as well. Like what really happened to her hand? It definitely isn’t the baloney story she told the social worker. I could see a few of the secrets coming but I think a lot of young teens would have been surprised. I still really enjoyed the story. It was a different plot line and really good characterization for Jane. The minor characters could have been a little more developed but it wasn’t to the point where it bothered me or hurt the story. I would definitely recommend it for my own students. I think a lot of kids sadly have to deal with alcoholic or drug addicted parents and could relate. This was my first time reviewing a book I didn’t have to pay for or borrow from a friend or the library! I felt like such a big shot. This book is released for purchase March 12, 2019.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Thank you to the author for the free review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. Oh, all the stars for this debut book from Jody J. Little. Jane is on her way to another foster home. This happens every few years, because her pop has a lot of trouble with his drinking and even though he tries, he still ends up needing to go to rehab. But Jane’s okay with this. She knows that after twelve days, she and her pop will be back together and all will be well again. At least for a little while! Thi Thank you to the author for the free review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. Oh, all the stars for this debut book from Jody J. Little. Jane is on her way to another foster home. This happens every few years, because her pop has a lot of trouble with his drinking and even though he tries, he still ends up needing to go to rehab. But Jane’s okay with this. She knows that after twelve days, she and her pop will be back together and all will be well again. At least for a little while! This time she ends up in what she thinks of as a weird place. It’s a communal living community in the middle of nowhere. But it’s full of loving, caring people who welcome Jane into their lives. I loved Jane’s kindness, spunk and empathy. You could tell that although her pop struggles with alcoholism, he has done his best to raise her to be a respectful, caring and polite young lady. She treats those around her with kindness, even though she is missing pop and has a badly burned hand. And she demonstrates so much spunk and determination as she works to reunite with her pop. I loved this story that teaches us that family can be chosen; that it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone you’re related to. And even though people and places are very different than you expect, they can still give you the love and support that you so badly need. This windows and mirrors book is needed by so many middle graders who may be struggling with living with an alcoholic parent. It also allows the other students to have a better understanding of what their classmates may be experiencing. It’s a great book that will be flying off library shelves! I highly recommend it! This book will be released March 12.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    My kids look forward to Wednesdays. For them, it's school curbside library day. I love it too and will probably miss this when it's no longer necessary. But what curbside pickup day means is, we get to talk to the librarian, she goes into the school and picks out some books for each student. (I might be jealous, it might be my dream job, trying to match kids with books that will help them to love reading) anyway... My daughter was given this one. Because of the topic material, I wanted to read i My kids look forward to Wednesdays. For them, it's school curbside library day. I love it too and will probably miss this when it's no longer necessary. But what curbside pickup day means is, we get to talk to the librarian, she goes into the school and picks out some books for each student. (I might be jealous, it might be my dream job, trying to match kids with books that will help them to love reading) anyway... My daughter was given this one. Because of the topic material, I wanted to read it- maybe to preview it... but mostly because I was so interested. This book talks about a girl who loves her dad dearly, but also, she kind of needs help. Her dad is addicted to alcohol. Its the big bad ogre who creeps into their lives sometimes. Most of the time, life is great, but sometimes its not. Wow, this book did a great job showing compassion for people struggling with addiction, but also showed how kids need help sometimes and some problems are bigger than a single kid and how sometimes the total truth needs to be said. Anyway, I loved it. I wish that all kids have a community to come around them and support them. And I wish all parents loved their children so very much, and I wish Rehab always worked forever. I know life doesn't always work out the way it does in my beloved middle reader books... and this one does not overly simplify addiction either.... but we can always hope. And we can talk about things and make beautiful stories about them, because you never know who it might reach or help. I know this story will stick with me for a long time to come, and that's the honest truth.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mandy Stallard

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Jane isn't thrilled when Officer D, her foster mom for the next 12 days, brings her to Three Boulders. There isn't anywhere for her to longboard; no one has a TV, but the worst part is she can't see her Pop. Pop has gotten himself another twelve day stint in rehab. He's an alcoholic, and the last time Jane was with him, she suffered a severe burn to her hand. It's not really clear if Pop did something to cause Jane's injury; the adults around Jane seem to believe there was some foul play, but Ja Jane isn't thrilled when Officer D, her foster mom for the next 12 days, brings her to Three Boulders. There isn't anywhere for her to longboard; no one has a TV, but the worst part is she can't see her Pop. Pop has gotten himself another twelve day stint in rehab. He's an alcoholic, and the last time Jane was with him, she suffered a severe burn to her hand. It's not really clear if Pop did something to cause Jane's injury; the adults around Jane seem to believe there was some foul play, but Jane is adamant that Pop loves her and would never hurt her. As Jane's next twelve days unfold in the rural community of Three Boulders, Jane befriends Gertie (or G as Jane likes to call her). Gertie is straight-laced and knows everybody's business because she is the town recorder. She keeps detailed journals of their softball games, garden produce, and everyday life. G feels like something big is going on because people keep leaving the community. Jane helps her uncover the truth, while Gertie helps Jane survive the next twelve days without her father. This book takes an honest look at what it is like to be the child of an alcoholic. Jane often has to fend for herself, but she knows that her dad is her "matching sock," and she doesn't want to be without him. Jane is willing to do just about anything to be with her father again, until she realizes that being with him might not be most healthy for her. This book will tug at your heart strings.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    I love Jane so much. She's got all this responsibility on her, and she clearly wants to do everything she can to keep her family going. And she takes care of Pop as much as he takes care of her (okay, she does more of this, I believe) and so she's like, "OK, I can make this work for 12 days and then I can get my real life back." And Three Boulders sounds amazing. Like Jane, I was skeptical at first (it seems SUPER GRANOLA, guys) but everyone is so nice and it seems to work so well. And it's this I love Jane so much. She's got all this responsibility on her, and she clearly wants to do everything she can to keep her family going. And she takes care of Pop as much as he takes care of her (okay, she does more of this, I believe) and so she's like, "OK, I can make this work for 12 days and then I can get my real life back." And Three Boulders sounds amazing. Like Jane, I was skeptical at first (it seems SUPER GRANOLA, guys) but everyone is so nice and it seems to work so well. And it's this great place that I seriously want to visit. (I don't think I could do softball and the garden but still. Still.) I absolutely adored this story. I wanted to read it because of the Great Gilly Hopkins vibe, but it's completely its own deal. I read the acknowledgments and the first paragraph was the books that Jody Little read as a child and I could see the influences. At the same time, this isn't a retread of books I loved as a kid. This is fantastic on its own. And I will tell you now that if I had read this in elementary school, I would've read this book probably at least five times in a row. This would've become my new favorite book. This is an amazing book. Your middlegrade reader will likely love it. Highly recommended.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Karen Johnson

    Wonderful book. Lovable quirky characters for one thing. But the important thing is how Little realistically and sensitively revealed the emotional damage caused by a parent's substance abuse (in this case alcohol), and the resultant neglect, dysfunctional dependence, and chaotic lifestyle, as well as the complex emotional turmoil for the child--including great love and protection for the parent. That is the backdrop for a story of repeated unhealthy foster care, and how one strong, patient, empa Wonderful book. Lovable quirky characters for one thing. But the important thing is how Little realistically and sensitively revealed the emotional damage caused by a parent's substance abuse (in this case alcohol), and the resultant neglect, dysfunctional dependence, and chaotic lifestyle, as well as the complex emotional turmoil for the child--including great love and protection for the parent. That is the backdrop for a story of repeated unhealthy foster care, and how one strong, patient, empathetic adult can help with healing. Little surrounds Jane with a true community of caring (though flawed) families. Just enough symbolism, including "paired socks," and the community 3 rock pillars named Redemption, Community, and Forgiveness, which traits are demonstrated and discovered as the book progresses. "Everyone is scared of something, G." "I realized that to have redemption, you had to have forgiveness. Old Red was living up here in Three Boulders, almost hiding away, because he hadn't forgiven himself." This book is intended for grades 3 - 7, but I think an older reader could enjoy and get a lot out of it, especially if they can relate. Good ending too. yay And, it made me cry.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I loved this book! It was just so sad at some parts. I loved the characters so much-Jane, Officer D, Red Norton, Pop, Gertie, Loam and Dandy, basically the whole town. It was probably the saddest book I’ve ever read. I felt so sad when Jane was thinking back on memories of her father-especially the burned hand. I loved how we only knew the fake story she was telling social services. But when we did find out, I was so sad! I can’t believe she put her hand on a hot stove and screamed to wake Pop u I loved this book! It was just so sad at some parts. I loved the characters so much-Jane, Officer D, Red Norton, Pop, Gertie, Loam and Dandy, basically the whole town. It was probably the saddest book I’ve ever read. I felt so sad when Jane was thinking back on memories of her father-especially the burned hand. I loved how we only knew the fake story she was telling social services. But when we did find out, I was so sad! I can’t believe she put her hand on a hot stove and screamed to wake Pop up. The ending was bittersweet. I kinda thought it would be a little happier- Pop would be changed and Jane would go live with him in Willis and they would live happily ever after. Well, that’s not what happened. But life doesn’t always have perfect endings, and even though it was the ending to a book, that doesn’t mean that the story’s over, I guess. Anyways, I just had a lot to say about this book, and I think the ending was just perfect. I totally recommend this book, but be prepared! It is sooooo sad.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katie Reilley

    Thank you to the author and Harper Collins publishing for sending an early copy for my #bookexpedition group to share and review. I absolutely loved this heartwarming middle grade story about family, friendship and community. Jane finds herself in foster care as her dad needs to head to rehab for his alcohol abuse. This is not her first time in foster care as Pop, though he tries, is battling the ogre of alcoholism. Jane’s foster placement is with Officer D, the police officer who’s been checkin Thank you to the author and Harper Collins publishing for sending an early copy for my #bookexpedition group to share and review. I absolutely loved this heartwarming middle grade story about family, friendship and community. Jane finds herself in foster care as her dad needs to head to rehab for his alcohol abuse. This is not her first time in foster care as Pop, though he tries, is battling the ogre of alcoholism. Jane’s foster placement is with Officer D, the police officer who’s been checking in on Jane and her Pop. Officer D brings Jane to Three Boulders, a communal living community where Jane is welcomed and befriends a girl named Gertrude (G). Jane’s goal is to get through the 12 days her Pop has to spend in rehab and reunite with him to get back to their good days. I loved the friendships that developed with the assortment of characters that lived in Three Boulders , and the theme that family can be chosen. Preorder now...publishing in March 2019.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sara Magnafichi

    Thank you to Harper Collins for providing a copy of Mostly the Honest Truth to #Collabookation. Football season in my household means reading season for me. I read this during one football game while the rest of the house enjoyed the game! I was hooked from the very beginning, where we meet Jane, and her dad, who she calls Pop. Pop is struggling with his addiction to alcohol again. As a result, he has to spend 12 days in rehab to dry out, and Jane is placed into temporary custody with Officer D, Thank you to Harper Collins for providing a copy of Mostly the Honest Truth to #Collabookation. Football season in my household means reading season for me. I read this during one football game while the rest of the house enjoyed the game! I was hooked from the very beginning, where we meet Jane, and her dad, who she calls Pop. Pop is struggling with his addiction to alcohol again. As a result, he has to spend 12 days in rehab to dry out, and Jane is placed into temporary custody with Officer D, who is fostering Jane for this period of time. She brings her home to Three Boulders. Three Boulders is a communal town, with strict rules, and is off the beaten path. Jane finds the town strange at first but quickly realizes it's charm through the new friendships she makes. She soon realizes that family is more than the people you are related to by blood. Can Pop get his act together? Will Jane run into more problems as the result of her "mostly honest truth"?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Balcárcel

    Get ready to cheer for scrappy, loyal Jane, who isn't telling everything about her burned arm or her dad's alcoholism, but is slowly opening her heart to new friends in the "boonies" at an intentional community called Three Boulders. With a spot-on middle grade voice and a rugged almost-poetry in the many phrases, this debut novel shows a girl coming of age as she learns what community, forgiveness, and redemption mean. When her father is taken to rehab, Jane knows that they'll be reunited and g Get ready to cheer for scrappy, loyal Jane, who isn't telling everything about her burned arm or her dad's alcoholism, but is slowly opening her heart to new friends in the "boonies" at an intentional community called Three Boulders. With a spot-on middle grade voice and a rugged almost-poetry in the many phrases, this debut novel shows a girl coming of age as she learns what community, forgiveness, and redemption mean. When her father is taken to rehab, Jane knows that they'll be reunited and go back to their dad-daughter life. But what if life could be bigger and better than Jane has imagined? It's hard to sacrifice oneself, but it might be even harder to make a turn toward becoming a healthy family. Jane's bravery and decency will warm your heart, and get out the Kleenex for the final chapter!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tiffani Reads

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really was not expecting this book to effect me in the ways that it did. I felt so sad for Jane and the things she had to endure at a young age. A father who is an alcoholic, being in and out of foster care, and never staying in one place too long. Jane’s unwavering love for her Pop shines so bright throughout this book, and when you realize how far she is willing to go to make sure he gets into rehab, your heart will sink into your stomach. The other strong theme in this book is family, and s I really was not expecting this book to effect me in the ways that it did. I felt so sad for Jane and the things she had to endure at a young age. A father who is an alcoholic, being in and out of foster care, and never staying in one place too long. Jane’s unwavering love for her Pop shines so bright throughout this book, and when you realize how far she is willing to go to make sure he gets into rehab, your heart will sink into your stomach. The other strong theme in this book is family, and specifically found family. Just because someone is blood, does not mean that they are family, and vice versa. Sometimes family can just be a community of people who you lean on for comfort during tough times. In the immortal words of Stitch, “This is my family. I found it all on my own. It’s little & broken. But still good. Yeah, still good.”

  25. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    4.5 stars for this debut middle grade novel about a girl who has a very active truth meter. You will fall in love with Jane and her diligence in wanting to be with her matching sock -- her Pop. When Pop has a relapse and needs to spend time in rehab, Jane is relocated to a community called Three Boulders. Their founding principles are memorialized by three actual boulders named Community, Redemption and Forgiveness. Little does a deft job of weaving those themes into the story with heart. The fa 4.5 stars for this debut middle grade novel about a girl who has a very active truth meter. You will fall in love with Jane and her diligence in wanting to be with her matching sock -- her Pop. When Pop has a relapse and needs to spend time in rehab, Jane is relocated to a community called Three Boulders. Their founding principles are memorialized by three actual boulders named Community, Redemption and Forgiveness. Little does a deft job of weaving those themes into the story with heart. The family resolution is a bit contrived, but all in all a book well worth reading. How can you resist that rainbow cover?! Thank you to HarperCollins and Edelweiss for the opportunity to view a digital ARC of this debut novel.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karol Silverstein

    Mostly the Honest Truth is a true delight. Main character Jane Pengilly is a distinct, instantly loveable character—as are all the “Boulderites” (as Jane calls the inhabitants of the beautifully unique Three Boulders community). It’s impossible to not root for Jane. The love she feels for her Pop and her determination to be reunited with him are palpable, while at the same, the reader knows there’s more to the story of “that night” than Jane is letting on. Author Jody J. Little crafts a delicate Mostly the Honest Truth is a true delight. Main character Jane Pengilly is a distinct, instantly loveable character—as are all the “Boulderites” (as Jane calls the inhabitants of the beautifully unique Three Boulders community). It’s impossible to not root for Jane. The love she feels for her Pop and her determination to be reunited with him are palpable, while at the same, the reader knows there’s more to the story of “that night” than Jane is letting on. Author Jody J. Little crafts a delicate, moving journey for Jane and her readers, culminating in an unexpected and highly satisfying ending. You’ll never look at socks—paired and unpaired—in the same way again.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cassie Thomas

    Mostly the Honest Truth is such a feel good story about realizing that family doesn’t have to be blood. Jane is a spunky girl who finds herself at a community called Three Boulders while her Pop is back in rehab on another 12 day sprint to get dry again. Jane goes to Three Boulder with the idea that she will just be present, get through her 12 days, and go back to Pop for some not so good Pop and Jane days again, but the universe has a different idea. I love the friendships that transpire in the Mostly the Honest Truth is such a feel good story about realizing that family doesn’t have to be blood. Jane is a spunky girl who finds herself at a community called Three Boulders while her Pop is back in rehab on another 12 day sprint to get dry again. Jane goes to Three Boulder with the idea that she will just be present, get through her 12 days, and go back to Pop for some not so good Pop and Jane days again, but the universe has a different idea. I love the friendships that transpire in the story and the relationships between family. This is a story I know my 5th graders will enjoy.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennybeast

    Funny how I'm getting to like the books that make me cry -- this one because of the good emotional connections, the bravery and moving forward and emphasis on community. Foster kid story -- one based in alcoholism and the terrible mistakes one makes when drunk -- but also about strong family bonds and a special community called 3 Boulders, that's a little off the beaten path. Jane is deeply endearing and the small mysteries throughout the book really keep it moving along. Advanced Reader's copy Funny how I'm getting to like the books that make me cry -- this one because of the good emotional connections, the bravery and moving forward and emphasis on community. Foster kid story -- one based in alcoholism and the terrible mistakes one makes when drunk -- but also about strong family bonds and a special community called 3 Boulders, that's a little off the beaten path. Jane is deeply endearing and the small mysteries throughout the book really keep it moving along. Advanced Reader's copy provided by Edelweiss.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Jane and her Pop are like a matched pair of socks -- it’s always just been the two of them. Except for the times when Jane has to live with a foster family while Pop goes to rehab. This time feels different though -- Officer D takes Jane and her injured hand home with her. Officer D lives in Three Boulders, a communal living community where everyone eats together and lives in cabins presided over by 91-year-old Old Red. Will Jane and her Pop be reunited? What are the secrets of Three Boulders? A Jane and her Pop are like a matched pair of socks -- it’s always just been the two of them. Except for the times when Jane has to live with a foster family while Pop goes to rehab. This time feels different though -- Officer D takes Jane and her injured hand home with her. Officer D lives in Three Boulders, a communal living community where everyone eats together and lives in cabins presided over by 91-year-old Old Red. Will Jane and her Pop be reunited? What are the secrets of Three Boulders? A wonderful tale of redemption and resilience -- and knowing when to ask for help.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lorie Barber

    Many thanks to the author and Harper Childrens for sharing this book with #bookexpedition. I just loved this story. I connected deeply to Jane and her need to parent her parent. Many of my students - past and present - had led similar lives as well. The changes Jane experiences - both inside herself and out - help her redefine what family really needs. This one is a must add to class and school libraries. Out in March!

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