The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story Mason has told about that day.
Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny.
But will anyone believe him?
A Fantastic Book
Mason Buttle can't read all that well. And he sweats a lot. And writing isn't something he can do either. But Mason Buttle is a good friend, he loves his family, he's kind to dogs, and he tells the truth. When his best friend Benny dies, Mason does his best to tell the police what happened that day, but no one really thinks he's telling the full truth. And then Mason makes a new friend, Calvin, and just when Mason thinks that things might start being okay again, Calvin disappears...
THE TRUTH AS TOLD BY MASON BUTTLE by Leslie Connor is a gorgeous book filled with sweetness and sorrow and a wonderful protagonist in Mason Buttle. Mason is twelve-years-old, and he has an assortment of academic and life challenges, but he also has a kindness and gentle humor that translate into naive wisdom and charm. Mason also has a wonderful family--a grandmother and uncle, and a stray girl that his uncle brought home from the diner one day. The author draws all of the characters in this book with depth, nuance, and clarity, and I was incredibly invested in all of them as a result.
MASON BUTTLE is also incredibly fast-paced, particularly for a character-driven novel. I raced through the last 100 pages—crying through much of it—and the book and its people will be on my mind for a long time to come.
Kudos to Leslie Connor for writing a terrific book, and my thanks to the publisher and YA Books Central for a copy of it in exchange for my honest review.