To Tell the Truth
by Robert Bauer
Reading level: Nine to twelve year-olds
Hardcover: 27 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing (August 3, 2010)
Source of book: Author
What to expect: Boyhood antics, moral dilemmas
In C.J. in a Pickle, author Robert Bauer introduces us to C.J., a highly imaginative and cheeky young boy. C.J. comes home from school and his mother notices that something is amiss. C.J. thinks that if he tells the truth he’ll get into bigger trouble than if he tells a creative re-interpretation of the events. C.J.’s mom doesn’t fall for it and despite his best efforts to craft a believable story, he gets sent to his room. He thinks of a few more artful explanations and then an unbelievable thing happens to change his mind, but I won’t give away the ending! Robert Bauer does a good job of tackling the issues of lying and punishment. I remember having the following dilemma: I did something wrong for which I would surely receive punishment if caught. If I lied about it, I might get away with it. But if I got caught, my punishment would be worse because I had lied. Better to tell the truth then, right? Except that more often than not, I tried to lie first. It was a hard lesson to learn, and one that I’m going to have to teach my own children at some point. Books like this one will hopefully help!