The Honest To Goodness Truth
Author: Patricia C. McKissack
Illustrator: Giselle Potter
BUY – The Honest-to-Goodness Truth
What is the difference between telling a lie and telling the truth at the wrong time?
Libby’s first lie makes her stomach feel like she’s swallowed a handful of chicken feathers.
Set in Midwest America, possibly in the 1950’s, this story’s theme never grows moss.
Consideration and evaluation are the main themes in this engaging tale of a primary aged African-American girl who learns from her community what the honest to goodness truth is all about.
“Speak the truth and shame the devil” mama says in a real stern-like voice!
Nervously Libby owns up to her lie and strangely feels much better.
Resolving to be honest she starts her ‘truth-telling’ Sunday morning at church.
What Libby didn’t know, is that there is a time and place to tell truths.
Spoken without thought, words can become thorns, bringing unexpected pain and lingering bad feelings.
Ruthie May felt great! Her new outfit was being admired by everyone until… Libby truthfully announced the big hole in her sock!
At school Libby told lots of ‘truths’ about her friends and by the end of the day hardly anyone would talk to her.
Sad and confused, she tells mama she feels awful because her friends don’t like her anymore.
“Sometimes the truth is told at the wrong time or in the wrong way or for the wrong reasons and that can be hurtful. But the honest to goodness truth is never wrong.”
But what did the honest to goodness truth really mean?
When a neighbour makes a few truthful but harsh remarks about Libby’s favourite old horse she is shocked! Her horse was old, but why did Virginia have to rub it in? Suddenly Mama’s words become crystal clear!
Full of southern colloquialisms and quaint small country town images, this story disarmingly addresses this confusing issue which is far from black and white.
In some ways being set in another time period gives it both the gravity of old fashioned morals, and the distance to except some of these as values of an era where life was simpler and often harder.
There is a picture which illustrates the consequences of one of Libby’s ‘truths’. This shows a girl getting spanked by her mother for stealing peaches.
There are also lots of images of kindness and a caring community spirit. A teacher gives a child from a poorer household lunch money and children walk to school arm in arm.
Naive styled illustrations beautifully compliment this well articulated story and sets it apart as a thoughtful and appealing tale.Amazon – The Honest-to-Goodness Truth