The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

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Annotation: In this deeply poignant and beautifully crafted story about self-reliance, redemption, and hope, young Mason Buttle struggles with grief and faces suspicion when he is wrongly suspected of causing his best friend's death.
Catalog Number: #161176
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 326 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-249143-1 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1336-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-249143-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1336-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017934896
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Life hasn't dealt 12-year-old Mason Buttle a winning hand. Since the death of his mother, he has lived with his grandmother and uncle Drum (who both suffer from depression). Also, his best friend, Benny, has died after falling from a treehouse accident that Lieutenant Baird thinks is somehow Mason's fault. What's more, Mason is constantly bullied because of his learning difficulties and his size (he's the largest, sweatiest kid in seventh grade). A bright spot enters Mason's life, however, in the tiny form of his new friend, Calvin Chumsky. Together, they make a hideout in an old root cellar, but when Calvin goes missing, Mason is again suspect. Throughout this realistic problem novel, Connor's portrayal of Mason is spot-on, and the seventh-grader's honesty shines through as his greatest attribute. Laced throughout the story, and evident at the end, is hope for a brighter future, both for the entire family and the community. Reminiscent of Rodman Philbrick's Freak the Mighty (1993), Connor's novel provides a thoughtful look at human nature, resilience, and love.
Horn Book
Dyslexic seventh-grader Mason is grieving the death of his best friend, Benny, and is a victim of intense bullying. Lieutenant Baird of the local police believes Mason knows more than he's saying about Benny's death. When new friend Calvin goes missing, too, Mason is again under suspicion. Mason's voice is honest and true, and the multifaceted characters both enrich and propel the narrative.
Publishers Weekly
In this sensitively written novel, Connor (All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook) introduces a learning-disabled 12-year-old who will warm readers- hearts and earn their respect with his honesty and compassion. Mason Buttle may have trouble spelling words and be slow to understand some things, but he knows how to be a good friend. Ever since his best friend and neighbor Benny died in an accident in the Buttles- apple orchard, Lieutenant Baird of the police department has been badgering Mason with questions. Writing from Mason-s point of view (including journal entries he composes using a speak-and-write computer program), Connor paints a vivid picture of Mason-s world and the people who inhabit it: the grief-stricken grandmother and uncle who raise him, the neighborhood boys who torment him, and social worker Ms. Blinny, who provides a safe haven in her office. When Mason-s new friend Calvin goes missing, Lieutenant Baird returns with more questions for Mason. Poignant and suspenseful, Mason-s story crystalizes an adolescent boy-s joys and fears as he comes into his own. Ages 8-12. Agent: Miriam Altshuler, DeFiore and Co. (Jan.)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Under a cloud of suspicion after the death of his best friend, a boy with a "trifecta of troubles" continues as best he can.Lt. Baird is sure seventh-grader Mason Buttle knows more about the death of Benny Kilmartin than the story he's told over and over. Now he's writing it, with the help of speech-recognition software in the school social worker's office (a process that is reproduced with unlikely accuracy). In a moving first-person narrative, Connor reveals a remarkably distinct and memorable character. Loyal and good-natured, Mason is large for his age, highly dyslexic, abnormally sweaty, and the regular target of bullying neighbor boys. He feels his emotions as colors—green for stress, shades of pink for happiness. There hasn't been much pink in Mason's life in the 16 months since Benny's accidental death, but now there's a new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, and the bullying neighbor's dog, Moonie, who prefers Mason. Using Mason's conversations with the detective and his voice-to-text storytelling, the author weaves the back story into a narrative of redemption chronicling his growing friendships. The climactic revelation reveals the gaps in everyone's understanding of the event and propels his struggling, white, apple-farming family—grandmother, unemployed uncle, and the stray, shopping-addicted young woman his uncle brought home—to make some needed changes. Connor's gift for creating complex characters extends to the supporting characters and makes this a compelling read. (Fiction. 9-14)
Word Count: 66,294
Reading Level: 2.7
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.7 / points: 8.0 / quiz: 193450 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.1 / points:15.0 / quiz:Q72784
Lexile: 310L

National Book Award Finalist * Publishers Weekly Books Books of 2018 * 2019-2020 Nebraska Golden Sower Award * Amazon Best Books of 2018 * Kirkus Best of Children's 2018 * New York Public Library Best Books 2018

From the critically acclaimed author of Waiting for Normal and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Leslie Connor, comes a deeply poignant and beautifully crafted story about self-reliance, redemption, and hope.

Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story Mason has told about that day.

Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny.

But will anyone believe him?

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