Parents' Guide to

What I Saw and How I Lied

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Sophisticated, mature mystery better for older teens.

What I Saw and How I Lied Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+
This book was chosen by my daughter's literature circle at school. My daughter is 9, one of the girls in her group is 9 and one is 11 (Montessori mixed ages). I didn't think twice about it since it was a school book. When the other nine year old's mother called me saying her daughter was in tears over the ickyness of the book, I read a few chapters and was immediately concerned. I came to this website and read the information in the What to Watch section and was completely shocked! It is so not appropriate for a 4th grader! I do not believe in banning books or censorship of any kind, however, age-appropriateness is very important. Needless to say I sent an email to the teacher letting her know my daughter would not be reading any more of this book. This book is definitely for teens and older.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 14+

2 thumbs up!

You have to think about the real picture, the underlines of this story and waht your child sees everyday before you can go off and give horrible reviews about an amazing book. Its a life lesson. It gives many points that young teens need to know about and the rights/wrongs. Let everyone make their own opinion on this book. I give it two thumbs up!! It really made me think and after reading it three times i noticed one thing.... What children see and hear now a days makes this story line the bottom of my concerns! My neice is 15 years old and we can carry a convo for hours about this book....

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (16):

It can be hard to define the difference between adult and young-adult fiction, and this noir-ish mystery, set in the '40s, certainly skirts the line, wherever that may be. Infused with ambiguous and questionable morality, driven by sexual awakening and relationships, and set in a period with very different values from those that prevail today, adults will find as much to enjoy in this riveting drama as older teens.

Author Judy Blundell, whose previous books are mostly Star Wars novels, here shows a confidence and sure touch when dealing with a very different type of book. The characterizations of both major and secondary characters are clear and vivid, the sense of place and time is palpable, and the mystery, though predictable, is compelling. The postwar era is evoked with a light touch, though the constant smoking by nearly all of the characters, while realistic, gets a bit tedious after a while. Nonetheless, it's an auspicious debut into the world of literary fiction.

Book Details

  • Author: Judy Blundell
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • Publication date: November 1, 2008
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 12
  • Number of pages: 284
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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