A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Friendship, communication, and teamwork are important themes. It's ok to have more than one interest or hobby. Stay true to yourself and remember that your real friends won't care about appearances or popularity.
Positive Role Models
Tyler and Emmie are smart, sensitive, and talented artists. Both characters learn the meaning of true friendship and apologize when they've hurt others.
Violence & Scariness
Bullying and peer pressure are large parts of the story. Tyler is teased for liking art and spending time with Emmie, who isn't as popular as his friends. Emmie thinks she needs to drop one of her friends to be cool enough for Tyler. A mean meme about Emmie is shared on the fictional SnapGab app. A character teases his crush by calling her names and commenting on her clothes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Boys and girls talk about their crushes.
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Mild insults include "loser," "freak," "nerd," "idiot," "stupid," "weirdo," and "jerk."
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Products & Purchases
Brands and pop culture mentions include Fortnite and the fictional app SnapGab.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Truly Tyler, the fifth graphic novel in Terri Libenson's Emmie & Friends series, follows Tyler and Emmie as they work together on a project for their art class. This fast-paced tale tackles middle school drama, including bullying and peer pressure, while highlighting the power of friendship and communication. Characters talk about their crushes and use mild insults such as "loser," "freak," "nerd," "idiot," "stupid," "weirdo," and "jerk."
Is It Any Good?
Terri Libenson has once again created a fast-paced and entertaining graphic novel that tackles middle school drama. Libenson is known for using alternating chapters with different formats -- prose with sketches and comic-style panels -- to tell the story. But she also tells a story within the story by interspersing pages of Tyler and Emmie's project throughout the book. Libenson has also included a boy's perspective for the first time, which shows that boys also deal with bullying, peer pressure, and friendship issues in middle school. Many readers will likely relate to Tyler's struggle to balance two different interests and Emmie's concern about her looks and popularity. And while Truly Truly has a predictable ending, it has important lessons for tweens about friendship, communication, and staying true to yourself.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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