From the critically acclaimed author of Waiting for Normal and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Leslie Connor, comes a deeply poignant and beautifully crafted story about self-reliance, redemption, and hope.
Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard.
An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story Mason has told about that day.
Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground haven for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin and, eventually, Benny.
But will anyone believe him?
National Book Award Finalist * ALA Schneider Family Book Award * 2019 ALSC Notable Children’s Book * Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2018 * 2019-2020 Nebraska Golden Sower Award * Amazon Best Books of 2018 * Kirkus Best of Children's 2018 * New York Public Library Best Books 2018 * Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books 2018 * 2018 Nerdy Book Club Middle Grade Winner * South Carolina Junior Book Award Nominee * 2020 Colorado Children's Book Award Nominee * Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year 2019 (9-12) * 2020 Grand Canyon Reader Award Nominee * 2020-2021 Missouri Association of School Librarians Mark Twain Readers Award Preliminary Nominee * 2020-2021 Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee * 2021 Connecitcut Nutmeg Book Award Middle Grade Nominee *
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Seventh grade is rough, but it’s especially hard if you’re Mason Buttle, a big, sweaty boy with learning difficulties who lives in a crumbling house. Ever since Mason’s best friend died in a mysterious accident, he’s been painfully lonely; even worse—the police think he may have had something to do with the death. Mason’s charmingly direct voice makes him the kind of unforgettable protagonist you root hard for. The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle is both a poignant friendship story that celebrates acts of kindness and a hard-to-put-down mystery.
In this sensitively written novel, Connor (All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook) introduces a learning-disabled 12-year-old who will warm readers' hearts and earn their respect with his honesty and compassion. Mason Buttle may have trouble spelling words and be slow to understand some things, but he knows how to be a good friend. Ever since his best friend and neighbor Benny died in an accident in the Buttles' apple orchard, Lieutenant Baird of the police department has been badgering Mason with questions. Writing from Mason's point of view (including journal entries he composes using a speak-and-write computer program), Connor paints a vivid picture of Mason's world and the people who inhabit it: the grief-stricken grandmother and uncle who raise him, the neighborhood boys who torment him, and social worker Ms. Blinny, who provides a safe haven in her office. When Mason's new friend Calvin goes missing, Lieutenant Baird returns with more questions for Mason. Poignant and suspenseful, Mason's story crystallizes an adolescent boy's joys and fears as he comes into his own. Ages 8 12.)\n