03 March 2014
All the Truth that's in Me
Barry, Julie. All the Truth that's in Me.Viking Juvenile, 2013.
Judith disappeared when she was fourteen. Two years later, she returns to her town, but her tongue has been partially cut out, so she cannot tell what happened to her. Judith must decide whether it's important enough to tell the truth about what happened.
I didn't like this book as much as I thought I would. Set in the early colonial period, it's a decent read-alike for The Scarlet Letter, and I probably would have loved this book except for one character: Judith's mom. Once she returns, her mom acts ashamed of her, tells her she's not allowed to speak, and keeps reminding her how worthless she is, all the while spoiling Judith's brother. Her mom never once seemed happy to have her daughter back, and the reader eventually learns that her mother thought Judith had run off on her own and had not been kidnapped. I just can't understand how a mom could hate her own child that much, even after Judith returned, damaged, to her home. I also didn't understand the pattern of Judith's flashbacks to her captivity. She was there for TWO YEARS, but it's only mentioned very rarely, so the reader never really gets a good picture of what happened to her while she was there.
The plot itself is interesting, and there's enough of a mystery element that my students might still like this book. We don't currently have a copy in my library, but if I find a magic money tree I might get one.
Recommended for: fans of colonial stories, young adults
Red Flags: lots of speculation about Judith being raped (she wasn't), her mom makes some kind of alcohol and both drinks and sells it
Overall Rating: 3/5 stars