TRUE (…SORT OF) by Katherine Hannigan

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Delly has always been told how bad she is.  She has accepted it as part of her identity and let herself get worse and worse.  But when the principal suggests she might have to go to a different school if she can’t stop fighting, Delly does her best to stay out of trouble.  To distract herself, Delly begins following the weird new girl, Ferris–the girl who doesn’t talk.  They begin an unconventional friendship that forces Delly to make some difficult decisions about what is right and what is wrong.

It took me a long time to get into this book, in part due to the voice, which I wasn’t crazy about.  There was also a lot going on in this book, and the message of the early section was pretty heavy handed.  But it picked up by the end and finished with a valuable message of what it means to be a good friend and how to recognize signs of parental abuse.  It’s not at the top of my recommendation list, but middle grade readers who like realistic fiction may enjoy it.

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