I received Kit Pearson’s novel The Whole Truth from the publisher as a submission for the young adult book award I’m on the jury of.
I’m conflicted about what age this book is best for. The character is young, and the writing has an old fashioned formality that I think will appeal to readers of the American Girl/Canadian Girl series. However, the novel deals with complex themes such as morality, the depression, prejudice and religion. I think tweens are probably the ones who will enjoy it the most. This could potentially disqualify it from the award but I did enjoy it and would recommend it to teens who are looking for “clean” such as the Mennonite families I get at the library.
I thought Polly’s denial about what happened to her father and her difficulty understanding her sister’s changing attitudes as she grows up was realistic and well written. Bullying and poverty were dealt with in a serious but not too depressing way. I thought the tiny “romance” subplot was icky due to age difference.