The truth as told by Mason Buttle / Leslie Connor.
Booklist Reviews 2017 November #1
Life hasn't dealt 12-year-old Mason Buttle a winning hand. Since the death of his mother, he has lived with his grandmother and uncle Drum (who both suffer from depression). Also, his best friend, Benny, has died after falling from a treehouse—an accident that Lieutenant Baird thinks is somehow Mason's fault. What's more, Mason is constantly bullied because of his learning difficulties and his size (he's the largest, sweatiest kid in seventh grade). A bright spot enters Mason's life, however, in the tiny form of his new friend, Calvin Chumsky. Together, they make a hideout in an old root cellar, but when Calvin goes missing, Mason is again suspect. Throughout this realistic problem novel, Connor's portrayal of Mason is spot-on, and the seventh-grader's honesty shines through as his greatest attribute. Laced throughout the story, and evident at the end, is hope for a brighter future, both for the entire family and the community. Reminiscent of Rodman Philbrick's Freak the Mighty (1993), Connor's novel provides a thoughtful look at human nature, resilience, and love. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Fall
Dyslexic seventh-grader Mason is grieving the death of his best friend, Benny, and is a victim of intense bullying. Lieutenant Baird of the local police believes Mason knows more than he's saying about Benny's death. When new friend Calvin goes missing, too, Mason is again under suspicion. Mason's voice is honest and true, and the multifaceted characters both enrich and propel the narrative. Copyright 2018 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #2
Dyslexic seventh-grader Mason Buttle can neither read nor write, nor can he sequence past events. Mason lives in the here-and-now and approaches experiences with little nuance. He simply accepts his existence ("I am made the way I am made…There is no choosing about that"): as the youngest member of a struggling household; as a boy who is grieving the death of his best friend, Benny, the year before; and as a victim of intense, nonstop bullying. Neighborhood kids attack him at the bus stop, pelleting him with lacrosse balls or the apples lying around his family's now-disused apple orchard. His schoolmates make fun of his learning disabilities, his profuse sweating, his large size, and his "crumbledown" house. Calvin, a newfound friend who is Mason's polar opposite (small, wiry, inquisitive) provides a bright spot in Mason's otherwise troubled life. But one person wants Mason to order the pieces of his past: Lieutenant Baird of the local "Pee Dee" believes that Mason knows more than he's saying about Benny's death, and Mason tries mightily to remember. When Calvin goes missing, too, it's Mason who's again under suspicion. Mason's voice is honest and true, and the multifaceted characters both enrich and propel the narrative. While Connor lets readers know what happens, she leaves some of the whys for them to ponder. betty carter Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
PW Reviews 2017 November #1
In this sensitively written novel, Connor (