Liar, Liar

It’s so sad, it’s almost July 4th and this is only the second book I’ve read all summer!  Well, I have to start somewhere:

Liar, Liar by Gary Paulsen is about Kevin Spencer, a 14-year old boy who lies.  A lot.  But it works for him in a strange way, but the story has a good message that liars never prosper.  Or however that saying goes.

I have mixed reactions to this book.  It is so different than Gary Paulsen’s other works.  Had I not known, I would have thought it was by Andrew Clements because it reads a lot like one of his school stories.  That’s what I love about Carl Hiaasen – I can read his work and know it’s his.  But I suppose something can be said for being flexible with your voice.  He’s a ventriloquist of sorts!

But here’s two things, one I liked and one I didn’t.  Here’s what I liked, on page 97:  “So I went where I always go when I don’t know what to do – I headed for the library to organize my thoughts and hammer out a battle plan.”  Love that, Gary Paulsen!  But here’s what I hate, on page 108:  “My eyes stung and my throat closed, tight and burning.  I took a few minutes to stare at the floor until I was sure I could speak without squeaking or choking.”  A few minutes?  MINUTES?  I mean really.  Do you know how long a few minutes is, to just sit there and wait for someone?  Certainly Paulsen is not the first writer to use this inaccuracy, but it is like fingernails on the chalkboard for me.

Writers – especially those writing for children – please use language correctly and avoid this usage.  Thank you for your attention to this very serious matter.

Even so, I’d give this book a good strong B+.  It’s a fun character – plus I don’t think it’s going to be a series.  You know how I feel about series!

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