A while back I was perusing the children’s new shelf at my library and looking for slim books that might catch my eye. With its catchy title and fun cover, Liar, Liar looked promising. I read the blurb and it sounded amusing. So, I was shocked, just shocked, when I saw who the author was – Gary Paulsen. Gary Paulsen? He does humor? Ok, so, my only other experience with Gary Paulsen was the Newbery Honor book Hatchet which I found a tad dull and boring (how a survival tale can be dull and boring is beyond me). And while some say that Hatchet was a favorite when they were young I simply don’t see it…
Anyways, so I was amazed by how much I liked Liar, Liar. I mean, I read it straight through (which, despite its being a short book is still a big deal for me). And I laughed frequently and uproariously.
It’s about this eighth grader, Kevin, who attempts to get in good with a crush by telling a massive amount of lies. Of course, the lies come back to bite him in the butt. Kevin’s first person point of view, with his rationales for lying, are hilarious, and while obviously these rationales are flawed on many levels they are oddly a little truth revealing, too. I enjoyed the sibling rivalry between Kevin and his older brother and sister and Kevin’s devious ways of getting back at them. It sounded real to me. Really scary and really funny and true.
For fans of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books who have grown a bit and are ready for something new (without pictures and daily entries) Liar, Liar is a good choice. There’s a sequel, Flat Broke, and I’m definitely going to read it! Gary Paulsen – who knew? I'm still stunned.
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (Random House), 2011 Pages: 120
Full Title: Liar, liar : the theory, practice, and destructive properties of deception
Rating: 4.5 Stars Source: Public Library