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About The Book

In this “heartfelt, emotionally insightful” (Kirkus Reviews), and funny companion to the acclaimed To Tell You the Truth, Raymond has a life-changing summer when he’s sent to Maine to stay with the grandparents he’s never met.

Raymond has always preferred to keep life simple and leave adventuring to other people. But then he’s sent across the country, against his will, to spend the summer before fifth grade with grandparents who think he’s “troubled” and needs to have playdates set up for him. Determined to show everyone how brave, confident, and untroubled he can be, Raymond hatches a three-step plan:

1) Learn to ride a bike. His mom never got around to teaching him before she left.
2) Learn how to swim.
3) Make friends. On his own.

But can Raymond really change, or is this whole plan just a bunch of lies he’s telling himself? With the help of his great-grandfather’s old journal, a feral chicken, and a possibly imaginary new friend, Raymond might just overcome his fears and figure out who he really wants to be.

About The Author

Photograph by 179 Pictures

Beth Vrabel is the award-winning author of A Blind Guide to Stinkville, A Blind Guide to Normal, and the Pack of Dorks series. She can't clap to the beat or be trusted around Nutella, but indulges in both often, much to the dismay of her family. She lives in the Dallas, Texas area.

Why We Love It

“Raymond’s voice is thoughtful and funny from the first page, and it’s hugely satisfying to see him find his confidence and discover who he wants to be—an emotional journey that Beth Vrabel handles with sensitivity and nuance.”

—Sophia J., Associate Editor, on Lies I Tell Myself

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (June 21, 2022)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781665900904
  • Ages: 8 - 12

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Raves and Reviews

*A Junior Library Guild Selection*

"This heartfelt, emotionally insightful companion to To Tell You the Truth (2021) is . . . proof positive that an open heart can overcome hurt."

– Kirkus Reviews

“It’s an equally rewarding and adventurous story, remarkable in the way it allows characters to stretch and grow. . . . A humorous and honest exploration of deep family ties, unexpected friendships, and the gift of growing self-knowledge.”

– Booklist

"The author takes care that no one, child or adult, comes across as all good or all bad. Readers don’t need to be familiar with the previous book to enjoy this story of a boy learning who he is. Recommended."

– School Library Journal

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More books from this author: Beth Vrabel