What I Saw and How I Lied
Author: Judy Blundell
Publisher: New York: Scholastic Press 2008
Classification: Young Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical fiction
Media Type: Book
Grade level: 8-adult
Summary: Evie (Evelyn) is a typical teenager right after WWII. Her step-father comes home from the war, she practices smoking with chocolate cigarettes and hangs out with friend Margie. She and her mom lived with Joe’s mother in a house that is now too small. Joe came back and opened several appliance stores and seems to be doing well, following the American dream. After avoiding some phone calls, dad says, “let’s go to Florida for a vacation, so what if school starts next week”. They go to Palm Beach only to find it sweltering and almost completely shut down. They discover one open hotel which is for sale and a few other guests that they become friends with. Wishing she was included with the adults and feeling quite grown up Evie meets Joe, also back from the war, and instantly falls for him. Convinced they have a future together Evie is thrilled to spend days with him understanding that her mother must come also to chaperone. Her father starts working out a business deal with the other guest to buy the hotel, its his big break. Everything is wonderful until a secret is revealed and it all falls apart. Then Evie doesn’t know what is really true anymore or who she can trust. As she works her way through her memories, armed with new information, she gains a new understanding for the nature of people and grows up really fast. Greed, jealousy, passion, adultery, it is all there.
Evaluation: Excellent book about perception, growing up, loyalty, and what is right. Told in the first person, Evie’s perspective will ring true with teens and the girls will easily relate to her desires even set in a different time period.
National Book Award winner
- I grew up outside of Boston, went to college in western MA and lived in NYC dancing for several years before getting my teaching credentials and unintentionally moving to Santa Cruz CA. Married and divorced with two kids almost grown, a daughter in college and a son in high school, I am thrilled to be a librarian now, something that I should have done years ago. I love the applications of technology and realize that I have been interested in that since my first computer class back in 1986 - a new requirement for teaching degrees. Finally I can combine my love of curriculum, educational resources, working with adults and children, and technology applications.