Alice Dodd and the Spirit of Truth

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9780027677027: Alice Dodd and the Spirit of Truth

When Alice's little white lies become big fat deceptions, she is determined to redeem herself by finding her little cousin Amy, who has disappeared.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8-- Alice has agreed to spend the summer at the family's cabin taking care of her three-year-old cousin while her artist aunt paints. The young teen believes herself to be terribly dull, so when her aunt asks about her life she invents some exciting details, which immediately begin to haunt her. Once Alice begins to veer from the truth, she finds it increasingly easier to tell a few fibs than to stick strictly to the facts or be caught in a lie. She delays telling her aunt how she temporarily lost her young charge. She also fails to mention her encounters with two elderly neighbors, Abby and Merlina Bird. The mysterious Madame Merlina divines that Alice is a medium through whom spirits can communicate via her ever-present Ouija board. The girl also doesn't tell anyone about the lean-to that she and her cousin find in the woods and make into their secret place. The story begins as a character study, carefully setting the scene and introducing readers to some very real people whom they will come to know, like, and understand. The adults, including Alice's beloved grandfather, are finely drawn and multidimensional, and the dialogue is completely natural. The descriptions and pacing provide an excellent sense of place and help to build empathy for the characters' emotions. A fine first effort. --Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Despite a plot loaded with chestnuts, Murphy's first novel shows promise. Alice, the 12-year-old narrator, thinks she's "very medium," not a school star like her older brother and not gifted like her Aunt Kate the artist, with whom she's spending the summer at the family cabin. Feeling inadequate, Alice fibs to Kate about having won a school art prize, but the quickly told lie becomes difficult to live with. Various deceptions snowball until Alice is almost overwhelmed. Stock characters abound, from two eccentric maiden sisters who have just moved back to their own family home and the cute-as-a-button three-year-old whom Alice is supposed to baby-sit, to the omniscient grandfather able to guide Alice to inner peace. Even Alice herself, so thoroughly preoccupied with lacking talent, verges on stereotypical. Murphy gives her some depth by having her refer to specific past experiences in descriptive asides--for example, she relates how her grandmother taught her to make a mouthwatering blueberry pie, how she and her older brother used to pretend to be Seneca Indians when they played in the woods. These flashes of talent may not endear this novel to its target audience, but they do mark Murphy as someone to watch. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Catherine Frey Murphy
Published by Atheneum (1993)
ISBN 10: 0027677028 ISBN 13: 9780027677027
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Book Description Atheneum, 1993. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0027677028

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