Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 15
- Grade: 7 to 10
- Reading age: 12 to 15
Short-listed for the Forest of Reading Red Maple Award, 2012
Before you judge me, there are two things you should know about why I did it.
Shana Tremain is a good kid. She knows right from wrong and she’s never been in any serious trouble. But when her best friend, Carrie, comes to her for help, Shana agrees to break the law to save Carrie from a molester. She even feels good about it for a while.
Then trouble starts. Someone in their group of friends is stealing from the others. As she searches for the truth, Shana uncovers evidence that raises a terrifying question: Has she made a horrible mistake?
Faced with the reality of what she’s done, Shana finds herself trapped in a web of her own lies and deceit. Can she convince the right people that she’s telling the truth now? Either way it’s clear someone is going to pay a terrible price for her crime.
About the author
Valerie Sherrard first decided to become an author when she was in grade six! Her homeroom teacher that year, Mr. Alf Lower, praised and encouraged her efforts and instilled in her a lifelong belief in her ability to write. After producing about a dozen books for teens, Sherrard turned her hand to picture books. There’s a COW Under My Bed! introduces Oscar Ollie Brown, who will be embarking on his second adventure in There’s a Goldfish in my Shoe! in the fall of 2009. Since becoming a published author, Sherrard has enjoyed visiting many classrooms and libraries to speak to young people about writing, literacy, and most of all, finding and following your dreams. Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Valerie has spent time in a number of provinces, including her current home of New Brunswick. She lives in Miramichi with her husband Brent and their four cats: Lilly, Thragg, Patootie and Cody.
- Short-listed, Forest of Reading Red Maple Award
Some of the situations are a bit over the top but in the style of psychological thriller. Carrie is brilliantly manipulative and manages to convince most everyone that she is a victim.
Testify is a solid thriller and mystery story with definite "true crime" aspects, but it manages to hold the reader's attention without resorting to violence of any kind. Readers will be rooting for Shana to figure out how Carrie manages to always come out on top and will be quivering with intensity, eagerly flipping the pages to find out what happens next.
Sherrard generally does a great job of creating a sense of intrigue and mystery while capturing the tone of modern adolescents interactions and their desperate need to be accepted into a group.
The Waterloo Region Record
Sherrard gets so much right in the novel's tone and in the girl's chemistry that its impossible not to buy into her thoroughly modern take on teenage vigilante justice.
Quill and Quire