Last Updated on Saturday, 12 December 2009 09:50 Posted by Clash Saturday, 12 December 2009 09:41
Reviewed by Dianne for Teen Lit Review
Description: Baby Tris was the reason his mother was no longer alive...her decision to delay the chemotherapy she needed so that Tris could be born changed the life of her family forever. Now Tris has also been blamed for the death of his father...accidental to be sure, but who would have thought that a toddler would release a parking brake causing the vehicle to run over and kill his father?
As the family split apart after the death of their father, Tris’s sisters, Madison and Smithy moved out...Smithy to boarding school and Madison to her godparents. Only Jack stayed home to provide some kind of stability for his little brother Tris. “Aunt” Cheryl moved in and is determined to take over the household and make it suit her purposes. She is in love with publicity and has found a lucrative possibility in airing the whole tragic story in a detailed docudrama for television.
Review: The plot moved quickly and captured my interest, but the improbabilities overwhelmed believability. Tris, at the age of two had the vocabulary of a five year old and spoke in coherent sentences, giving critical information when it suited the situation. Jack had no problem ditching school and collecting his baby brother from his daycare and riding off with him in a kiddie seat on the back of his bicycle with the explanation that he had a half day of school and was taking Tris to a soccer game. The day care director was entranced with the idea of a TV producer coming to film Tris in the daycare situation. (No permission requested or granted.) Pictures taken with Dad’s cell phone are discovered...surprise! They were taken by a curious one year old Tris, who loved buttons, just as the Jeep ran over Dad. These photos supplied critical evidence as to what really happened that awful day. Madison and Smithy just happened to begin their trek home (after an absence of months) on the very same day that Jack has absconded with Tris to try to keep him out of Cheryl’s clutches. All the good guys show up at just the right time to save the day. (I’m glad the day was saved, but it was a little too coincidental.)
It was a page turner, even if I was saying “No way could this happen.”
Positive: Jack was the ideal big brother...totally dedicated to little Tris, and wonderfully patient with him. He and his sisters recognized the need to stick together to protect what was left of their family.
Spiritual Elements: Before their deaths, Laura and Reed Fountain were bringing the family up in the church, and the influence of the church could be seen in the lives of the children as they questioned their relationships with God.
Violence: A few instances of aggression
Language: One instance of profanity
Sexual Content: None
Other: The family had to endure picketing in front of the house because their mother chose to delay the chemotherapy she needed to save her own life rather than abort the child she was carrying.
Recommendation: I would recommend this to young adults
Title: If the Witness Lied, Author: Caroline B. Cooney, Primary Audience/age group: Young Adult, Genre: Realistic Fiction, # Of pages: 213, Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, Year of Release: 2009, Part of a Series? No, Rating: 4
Recommend? Yes...if you are a Caroline Cooney fan who are Caroline Cooney fans looking for a quick easy read. You may be incredulous, but if you can overlook the inconsistencies, it should hold your interest.