The Size of the Truth by Andrew Smith

Hello Everyone!  It’s Becky, again.  I have an interesting relationship with Andrew Smith books.  I think some books such as Marbury Lens are brilliant however some of his books such as The Alex Crow I wish I could have those guys from Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind  remove from my memory.  I was hesitant but hopeful when I started listening to his new middle-grade audio book.  Here are my thoughts:

41758045.jpgTitle: The Size of the Truth
Author: Andrew Smith
Note: Listened to the audio book.

Summary: Sam Abernathy has spent the last seven years being “The Boy in the Well”.  When Sam was four he was playing catch with kids in his neighborhood and feel into an abandoned well where he stayed for three days until rescue workers were able to save him.  Now, Sam is the youngest eighth grader in Blue Creek, Texas (he skipped two grades!) and he’s just trying to fit in.  However, before Sam can be normal he has to get his dad to accept him as a wannabe chef and not a wannabe survivalist, overcome the memories from his time underground (including his odd encounter with a talking armadillo named Bartleby), and make peace with James Jenkins the boy Sam is convinced pushed him into that well.

Review: I have had such a hard time trying to decide what to write about this book.  The Size of the Truth is like so many other Andrew Smith books.  At times it is well written with interesting characters, it has a great lesson for young readers, and it is so odd that it may be off-putting for some readers.   The main character, Sam, and his struggle with fitting in and dealing with the remnants of his trauma are perfectly written.  Sam comes across as a normal eleven year who is trying to find his place in the world and his voice to declare what he wants out of life.  That part of the book is great.  It teaches empathy and self assurance in a gently and entertaining way.  However, the quirky parts with Sam in the well with Bartleby, the talking armadillo, wore thin pretty quickly.  Readers who loved or who will grow up to love Smith’s Printz Honors winning Grasshopper Jungle will enjoy this one but people looking for a less quirky story may find this one hard to get through.

Final Rating: 3 out 5

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