Want personalized picks that fit your family?
Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.
The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle is narrated by a boy who's suspected of being involved in the death of his best friend and has lost both of his parents. Written by Leslie Connor (All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook), the story is told from the perspective of Mason, who struggles to read. Mason and Calvin are verbally and physically attacked by classmates, and adults are ineffective in stopping the cycle of harassment. Most adults remain emotionally distant from Mason after his friend's death -- many are struggling themselves to find their way through grief and loss.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
THE TRUTH AS TOLD BY MASON BUTTLE introduces 12-year-old Mason just over a year after he found his best friend dead in his family's orchard. The police lieutenant suspects Mason hasn't told the whole story, and Mason -- who's huge, sweaty, and barely literate -- spends his lonely days trying to avoid neighborhood bullies. He finds a new friend in Calvin, who also hangs out in the school social worker's office. The two create a hideaway where they can build, create, and feel safe. But all that is threatened when Calvin disappears and Mason finds himself the focus of the police lieutenant's attention -- again.
Is it any good?
Leslie Connor has created another unforgettable, unlikely hero in Mason, a large, lonely seventh-grader whose grieving heart aches for just the simplest moments of connection with the people he loves. The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle unfolds in his remarkable voice: straightforward, frank, and full of sweet surprises. Connor (Waiting for Normal) surrounds Mason with well-meaning adults struggling to wade through their own grief and regret. Though he's steeped in loneliness, Mason is an optimist: He takes everyday miseries in stride and seeks out people and places that show him kindness and warmth. Sad but never bleak, the story offers a gentle lesson on what a difference a little kindness and patience can make.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Mason's narration in The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle. Do you enjoy reading stories told in such unique voices? How does this approach shape the way you understand the story?
What do you think of how the adults in this story treat Mason and the other children?
Do you have a safe refuge of your own?
- Author: Leslie Connor
- Genre: Coming of Age
- Topics: Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Middle School, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
- Publication date: January 23, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 336
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Award: ALA Best and Notable Books
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love books about friendship and bullying tales
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.