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In this young adult novel, Patrick decides to tell a few white lies, but finds himself entangled in a messy web of deception that turns his sixth-grade world upside down. Ages 9-14.
Father-son writing teams are unusual enough, but this one goes a step further when the son in the team is the same age as the audience he's writing for. Dennis Doyle and his son, Patrick, fully capture the complexities of pre-adolescent life in this engaging read about the consequences of a single lie. The action begins when sixth-grader Patrick Dublin gets his first phone call from a girl, only to hear her say she likes his best friend. Patrick's resulting lie snowballs as the lie leads to rumors, theft, accusations, suspension, even physical injury, and the snowball becomes an avalanche rushing inexorably toward the main characters.
The consequences of this one action play out against the back-drop of parochial school life, including home, class, schoolyard, and the all-important basketball court. Patrick's troubles at school are compounded by his home life, as his quarreling parents decide whether or not to divorce. His reactions and those of the realistically drawn characters around him show that life, even at so young an age, is full of ambiguities: truth versus lies, versus white lies, versus lies of omission.
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