________________ CM . . . Volume XIX Number 4. . . .September 28, 2012


Ten Thousand Truths.

Susan White.
Charlottetown, PE: Acorn Press, 2012.
161 pp., trade pbk, $12.95.
ISBN 978-1-894838-83-2.

Grades 6-8 / Ages 11-13.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** /4



Rachel had not missed the emphasis Mrs. Thompson had put on the words very difficult. The funny part was that Social Services seemed to have complete faith in the Harriets' methods, too, and Rachel was quite sure if they really knew what some of those methods were, that wouldn't be the case. Is it a good method to tie an 18-month-old boy to his crib by both legs to keep him from trying to climb out? Rachel wondered. Should Bob really buy his cigarettes and beer with the birthday money of a kid too stupid to tell anybody?

Amelia stood up and took her plate to the sink. Then she walked over to the stove, swung down the door of a long compartment, grabbed a potholder, and pulled out a still-warm pie. The crust was light brown with blotches of deep blue juice that had bubbled in places on the sides and top.

"My grandmother always said it's not a good blueberry pie if it doesn't boil over in the oven. If that's true, then this one is going to be excellent."


Thirteen year-old Rachel blames herself for the accident that killed her mother and brother. The pain she feels inside causes her to misbehave and lash out. When she is caught shoplifting, her social worker sends her to live on a farm in New Brunswick with other " last resort" foster kids. Although Rachel only has to follow two rules while living there with Amelia, the owner, and the other children (do your part, and spend an hour a day alone at the lake), Rachel quickly settles in by helping out with the baking, gardening, and pickling. While on the farm, she learns how to sell raspberries, swim, and drive a tractor. Just as she begins to feel wanted and loved again, she receives a letter from a family member she never knew existed. Rachel's actions at school the following day get her suspended, but in time she learns how to communicate her feelings and make decisions that bring happiness and love into her life.

     Many of the characters in this book are in the process of healing from traumatic events in their past, but White takes them on journeys (one literally across Canada) that many readers will understand. An audience of tween girls will best enjoy this book.

     Susan White is a New Brunswick author who won the Ann Connor Brimer Award in 2012 for The Year Mrs. Montague Cried.



Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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