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5 of 5
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list price: $14.95
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
published: Sep 2010
ISBN:9781897151969
publisher: Cormorant Books

Home Truths

by Jill MacLean

reviews: 2
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bullying, self-esteem & self-reliance, sexual abuse)
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $14.95
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
published: Sep 2010
ISBN:9781897151969
publisher: Cormorant Books
Description

Brick’s home life is a horror show. His dad has a temper like a pressure valve; you never know when he’s going to blow. His mom’s a self-absorbed flake who leaves the care of his little sister to Brick. A guy could go crazy with all that tension. It’s no wonder Brick has to let off a little steam of his own once in a while. It’s not like he’s anything remotely like his dad. The day he turns sixteen, Brick’s out of there. This summer he’s going to take up Mr. Larkin’s offer of work, even though he’s been forbidden to “fraternize with the neighbors.” And he’s going to earn enough money to escape. Get out and never look back. But who will his dad turn to when he doesn’t have a son to kick around anymore?

 

A compulsive read by a two-time winner of the Ann Connor Brimer Award, Home Truths is a revealing portrait of a bully-in-training and his journey to redemption.

About the Author

Jill MacLean

During the four years poet Jill MacLean lived in Prince Edward Island, she researched Jean Pierre Roma's settlement at Trois Rivières. Her first collection, The Brevity of Red, was published in 2003. She now lives in Bedford, Nova Scotia.
Author profile page >
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
12 to 100
Grade:
7 to 11
Awards
  • Short-listed, OLA Red Maple Award
  • Short-listed, SYRCA Snow Willow Award
Editorial Reviews

“As I read, I found myself cheering for Brick, as engaged in his struggles as if he were real. In my mind, that’s about the highest compliment a book can be paid … A powerful, suspenseful story about redemption.”

— Ten Stories Up

“If I were to rate this book on a scale from one to five, it would definitely be a five. … I absolutely adore this book.”

— National Post

“Highly recommended.”

— CM Magazine

“Jill MacLean has created a remarkable portrait of a bully, taking readers carefully into his mind and heart … This is an intense and sobering look at an all-too-common experience, and and invitation to look beneath the surface of the characters we encounter in our lives.”

— Atlantic Books Today

“Sensitively written, this novel provides a real context to discuss bullying … in addition, the character development is engaging for the intended audience.”

— Resource Links

“A thought-provoking novel … What makes the book so compelling is the line that Brick straddles between being a mildly likeable character to a very unlikeable one.”

— The Chronicle Herald

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Reader Reviews

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Home Truths

Brick MacAvoy is taking off for Halifax the day he turns 16 — in 17 months. His mother Opal lives in her own world and neglects four-year-old Cassie, and his father Floyd hands out punches like candy. It’s no wonder that Brick’s AQ — Anxiety Quotient — gets so high he’s got to bully other kids to relieve it. So over the summer, Brick searches for jobs and saves up money. But, as he slowly gets to know the neighbourhood, secrets are shaken and jarred loose. Soon Brick can’t tell whether his neighbours are going to turn him out for his bullying problem… or help him with his own personal bully — his father.

With well-tuned prose and a distinct attitude, MacLean slips her readers straight into Brick’s mind. His loving care of younger sister Cassie and his enjoyment of reading make him fully endearing. It’s heartwarming to watch Brick open up slowly to his neighbours and reform his bullying ways, though not without personal trials. The idea of karate as self-defence juxtaposed with the pleasure Brick feels in hitting back at his father makes for an interesting theme — at what point does self-defence become offense? The different relationships Brick has with neighbouring families and other kids are developed and explored with all the tenderness and kindness our protagonist is capable of. This moving, character-driven story offers a clear-eyed insight into a dysfunctional family and the real man of the house.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2011. Volume 34 No. 3.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Home Truths

Brick’s dad has an uncontrollable temper and his mom is selfabsorbed, which leaves Brick to care for his little sister, Cassie. Every now and then Brick feels the need to release a little anger, and bullying seems the right way to do it. This summer Brick is going to earn enough money to escape and never look back. But who will Brick’s dad take his anger out on when Brick’s not around?

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2011.

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