Friday, October 31, 2014

The Truth About Truman School by Dori Hillestad Butler

The Truth About Truman School by Dori Hillestad Butler is about two friends Zebby and Amr who decide to create an online school website that is informative and honest. However, when they proclaim that anybody can post to the website without censorship, things begin to get out of hand. Soon cyberbullies begin to write anonymous mean and vicious comments and posts about Lilly, a popular girl at school. 

The book examines the fine line between censorship and freedom of speech and honesty, responsibility and integrity within journalism. It also asks the question who are we really? The person online, who assumes an anonymous identity and thus says anything they choose? or, the person who we pretend to be in our everyday interactions. The book is a timely quick middle school read with thought provoking themes.

My Thoughts:  
I read this book in one day.  The idea of middle schoolers, or anyone for that matter, unleashed online without boundaries, censors, and supervision is not only timely, but terrifying. Just think how cruel some people can be in person; now give them an anonymous online persona. Middle school bullying and teasing was bad enough when I was growing up and we didn't even have the internet. This is a good book for middle schoolers to read and discuss with their peers.

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