Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart

Age Group: Middle Grade
Genre: Realistic (ish) Fiction
Publishing Date: January 27th 2015 by Scholastic Press

Summary: In all the ways that matter, Mark is a normal kid. He's got a dog named Beau and a best friend, Jessie. He likes to take photos and write haiku poems in his notebook. He dreams of climbing a mountain one day.

But in one important way, Mark is not like other kids at all. Mark is sick. The kind of sick that means hospitals. And treatments. The kind of sick some people never get better from.

So Mark runs away. He leaves home with his camera, his notebook, his dog, and a plan to reach the top of Mount Rainier--even if it's the last thing he ever does.

The Honest Truth is a rare and extraordinary novel about big questions, small moments, and the incredible journey of the human spirit.

What I Liked: Like the last book I just recently covered, Full of Beans, even though it was definitely unintentional, for some reason the book had a sort of nostalgia feel. Like the book really wasn't trying to get any where, it was just trying to tell a story, which it did very well, but it did so as if it were your grandparents telling it to you. Of course, (shocker), I've never actually had my grandparents tell me a story, but the story was told in a way in which I think a grandparent would tell it. Sort of laid back, mood not that intense just sort of bleh, and at the end of the story you feel satisfied...but that's it It was a very revealing, capturing, all of those good adjective-type-of-story and I really felt moved. This seriously was a good book, although again, you actual middle-graders may not like it because again, it is bleh.

What I Didn't Like: For the same reasons I liked it, I didn't like that it was a sort of bleh retelling. Not that it was bad, just different, however, I was craving some sort of insane action scene where he's trying to fight up the mountain and he won't give up. While I can't spoil it, all I will say is that it wasn't what I expected (not saying it's the exact opposite, but just not 100 percent my prediction). Again, those parents will love nostalgia, because it brings you back to the old days of books and storytelling. Too bad I'm not a parent; I mean, would it have hurt to break the whole down-to-Earth feel and throw in a James Bond scene or something once in a while (probably, now that I think about it, but of course, you get my point)

Rating: 9.2 out of ten

Why? In my eyes, it's sort of like Full of Beans but at Mount Rainier, not bad, just different.
The Honest Truth


  1. I found this one incredibly sad and depressing, but I prefer laughter in my MG choices.

  2. If you are in the mood for a sad story, it was a good read. I liked it. It's nice to read someone else's thoughts on a book.

  3. I love your honesty in admitting that The Honest Truth could do with an action scene or two! I'm torn, because I love the idea of a sick kid deciding to climb a mountain by himself, but I try to avoid sad books.