Dan Richards’ Stu Truly is awkwardly enjoyable

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Stu Truly Dan RichardsSTU TRULY, by Dan Richards, Yellow Jacket, July 3, 2018, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 8-12)

Dan Richards’ Stu Truly thrusts readers straight into the world of teenage boys.

Stu Truly is the coming-of-age story of 12-year-old Stu as he struggles to navigate the murky waters of adolescence when he finds himself living a lie-that seems to be growing beyond his control-to impress the new girl in school.

When Stuart Cornelius Truly first sets eyes on the new girl, Becca, he staples his finger to his seventh-grade history assignment. The second time he sees her, he coughs up a bite of her lunch-a vegetarian roasted pepper sandwich-all over her sweater, and promptly lies, claiming that he, too, is a vegetarian. Their third encounter goes more smoothly, but Stu’s lie turns out to be harder to keep than he expected, especially since his family owns a butcher shop.

Stu suddenly begins to realize the opposite sex exists (and isn’t so bad, after all!). Can Stu learn to successfully navigate old friends, new crushes, and horror-filled school dances, or will his lie, intended to impress his crush, actually cause his world to fall apart? — synopsis provided by Yellow Jacket

Having never been a teen boy, I’m completely naïve to the way their minds work. Stu Truly, therefore, acts as a primer of sorts. What I’ve learned from it is boys are just as unsure about themselves as girls, and awkwardness abounds.

Honestly, I don’t know that I’d have enjoyed Stu Truly when I was a middle-grader. While amusing for an adult, it wouldn’t have resonated with my tween girl self.

Dan Richards’ writing is warm and inviting, and his pacing is spot-on. Stu Truly is a good choice for middle-grade boys.

© 2018, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.

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About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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