I’m so excited to report that Katherine Hannigan has written a new novel, True (…sort of), and that it is every bit as good as Ida B. Hannigan has a knack for writing those “quirky-girl-on-the-outside” stories, yet making them entirely her own. Her heroines are never quirky for the mere sake of quirkiness; they have heart and spunk, and this could not be more true than in the case of Delaware “Delly” Patterson.
Delly may be small for her age, but her ideas and love of fun are as big as they come. The only trouble is, that’s exactly where her ideas land her–TROUBLE. Self-proclaimed Dellyventures and holiDellys have made hers a familiar face to the local police. Her Nocussiconary, with words such as chizzle and bawlgrammit, may be a hit with her classmates but it is not so popular with her teachers. After years of squirming around rules and accidentally causing trouble as she follows her heart, the endless stream of “horrible, terrible, bad” directed at Delly begin to take their toll. Her smile turns to a smirk, and Delly starts to feel mean; she starts to feel like fighting; she starts to feel horribadible.
Delly struggles to discover how she can be herself without the trouble because trouble means getting kicked out of school and making her mother cry–neither of which she wants to happen. When Ferris Boyd comes to town things finally begin to change. As silent and gentle as Delly is raucous and wild, Ferris turns out to be Delly’s best surpresent yet; however, Ferris Boyd’s silence conceals a dark secret that leads to the biggest trouble Delly has ever seen. It takes all the good in Delly, plus the help of her little brother and plenty of peanut butter to unravel the mystery behind Ferris Boyd before it is too late to help their friend.
Filled with an incredible amount of heart, Hannigan’s portrait of a spirited young girl with a bit too much reckless abandon is a valuable contribution to middle grade fiction. Delly Patterson’s innate goodness, yet inability to be good make her an interesting heroine and one who can take her place with Ida B. and Harriet M. Welsh–two ladies who I hold in the highest esteem. Katherine Hannigan’s second novel is another success.
True (…sort of) will be released on April 26, and I suggest you pick up a copy of your own.