Friday, August 2, 2013

The Truth of Me by Patricia MacLachlan

What fire has been lit under Patricia MacLachlan? I know she has been writing actively for decades, but lately she has been putting the pedal to the metal, and I don't mean in the production kind; I mean putting her heart and soul into her books. Maybe it is just me: maybe I haven't read enough of MacLachlan's prior work. But written in veins similar to Edward's Eyes and Kindred Souls, The Truth of Me touched a story of connection and being seen that I seek out but don't often find in books, particularly in chapter books.

Robbie and dog-extraordinaire Ellie spend the summer with grandmother Maddy. Maddy is eclectic and engaged, living life to its fullest in her own very unique way. Robbie loves Maddy fiercely, and while he realizes the tension that lies between his mother and Maddy, he is unable to tease out what it exactly is. As Robbie spends his summer growing his awareness of his own truths of who he is, he learns what great hefts his mother totes to her string- quartet concerts around the world in addition to her violin.

As is true in MacLachlan's heart-knowing books, there is a quiet and turning inward that this book invites. I loved this book for its quiet reminders to the reader. How often are our young people told and reminded that who they are is indeed enough? When do we take consistent time to hear and see our young people? How do we make sure to welcome and make known the truths of each of us as humans? The Truth of Me does all of that and more. Sweet brilliance here, sweet brilliance indeed.

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