The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer by Davide Cali, illustrated by Benjamin Chaude

Published by Chronicle Books


Summary:  When a boy’s teacher asks him, “So what did you do this summer?”, he spins an increasingly fantastic tale.  It starts with him finding a message in a bottle which turns out to be a treasure map.  He ends up on a pirate ship, in a submarine, scaling the Great Wall of China, being chased by mummies in Egypt, and much, much more.  He concludes the story by saying to his teacher, “So you probably don’t believe me…right?”  The next page shows his teacher busily drawing something at her desk, with the caption, “Three months earlier…”, and then [spoiler alert] tossing a bottle with a paper inside toward the boy at the beach. 44 pages; grades K-3.

Pros:  A fun story that could inspire kids to come up with their own tall tales.  The pictures are crowded with action.  Readers will laugh at the final plot twist.

Cons:  The small size of the book and the unappealing appearance of the protagonist turned me off from reading this for quite a while.

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