Booktalk for THE HONEST TRUTH by Dan Gemeinhart

honest truth 2Mark has always wanted to climb Mt. Rainier, but he’s been too sick. He got cancer for the first time when he was five, and it keeps coming back. Now he’s 13 and the doctors have just told him it’s back again. Mark packs a bag of gear, takes his dog Beau, and heads toward the mountain. He knows he might never have another chance.

But how much of a chance does he have this time? It’s 255 miles from his home in Wenatchee, Washington, to the trailhead on Mt. Rainier, and another 8 miles to the top. His medications make him nauseous. Thugs beat him up in Seattle. His picture and story are all over the news. And a major storm is rolling in.

Mark has the world’s best dog and a gut load of determination. But that might not be enough to get him through.

Genre: realistic fiction, adventure

Grades 5-8


Anna’s take on it:

This was a solid title on my middle school booktalk list last fall, and I’m happy to see that it’s been selected as one of the 2017 Oregon Battle of the Books titles for the 6th-8th grade division.

I included this title in booktalks for several classes of seventh graders who weren’t strong readers. Four or five boys came up after one session and pointed out the titles they most wanted to read. The Honest Truth had really grabbed their attention—as did QB 1, The Port Chicago 50, and I Am Princess X.