22 September 2011


I recently read an amazing book: THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMAN SCHOOL, by Dori Hillestad Butler (2008). 

                Zebby and Amr want to write important articles for the school newspaper—articles about curriculum and student council elections and bullying.  When Mrs. Johnstone, the newspaper’s faculty advisor, refuses to approve any articles except “rah, rah, isn’t our school great?” pieces, Zebby and Amr decide to create their own web-based newspaper: truthabouttruman.com, where anyone can post articles and photos.  When someone starts using the site to bully a classmate, Zebby and Amr don’t know what to do.  They aren’t comfortable with the mean-spirited postings, but they aren’t sure if they should remove them from the site.  After all, their rules state that anyone can post to the site, as long as they’re telling the truth as they see it.  Before long, the true articles Zebby and Amr wanted to write are forgotten as truthabouttruman.com becomes a social hub for gossip, blurring the lines between truth and fiction, and the two friends must find a way to stop it before it’s too late. 

Weaving together the stories of everyone involved, Butler explores the truth about bullying, both online and in person and its devastating consequences.  Whether they’ve experienced the trauma of dealing with a bully, bullied someone themselves or simply stood by and watched as a classmate suffered, readers are certain to relate to this story.  It should be required reading for all middle school students, their teachers and parents.

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