A Must Read – The Honest Truth


coverOh wow! You know when you read a book and you get goosebumps because it’s so great? When you stay up WAY later than you should because you can’t put it down? The Honest Truth is that kind of book! It has star power. This book has that elusive it quality. From page one, I knew deep inside that this book was something truly special. 

I felt this way when I read The One and Only Ivan. I felt it again when I read Wonder and again when I read The Fault in Our Stars (YA novel). This book was a gift that came to me one ordinary afternoon. Judy brought it to me and said, “You have to read it Julie. Josa and I loved it. We think you will too.” So, I took it home and put it to the top of my book pile.

As soon as I had a chance I picked it up and started in. It was love on page one. Mark, the main character, lives in Wenatchee, Washington. He is 12 and has been fighting cancer for a large part of his life. When he finds out that his cancer is back which will most likely mean he will die, he makes the decision to take life into his own hands. He packs a backpack, gets his dog Beau, and runs away to Seattle. This begins a life or death journey for Mark to climb Mt. Rainier with his dog….alone. It’s a quest filled with danger and problems at every turn. I couldn’t put it down. I absolutely had to know what was going to happen to Mark and his dog Beau.

This book spoke to me and pulled me back into the book trailer creative mode. My husband and I even took a drive to Mt. Rainier to take some photos and footage of the mountain. Here is the trailer, made with iMovie.


Earlier today, I shared the trailer link with Dan, crossing my fingers that he would like it. I was pretty thrilled when I read that he does! Whew!


If you love realistic middle grade novels with a heavy dose of action and adventure, then this is a good match for you. Pick it up at your local school/public library or at your favorite bookstore. Dan Gemeinhart, the author, is a teacher-librarian who lives in Wenatchee, Washington. This is his first novel. I sure hope it’s not his last!


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6 thoughts on “A Must Read – The Honest Truth

  1. Wow that is an amazing trailer! I can’t believe that you traveled to mount rainer to do it! Its so cool that the author contacted you! I remember when Katherine Applegate came to the school because of the book trailer you did for the one and only Ivan, maybe this author will come and speak to the AGB kids too!

    My mum and I are finishing a amazing book right now it’s name is Echo, you need to read it, it is sooooooo AWESOME.

    From a middle schooler that misses his librarian!
    AKA Josa

    • Dear Josa,
      It was you and your mom’s recommendation that put the book in my hands. You both always have such great insight to books for our library. I am working on my book order for this spring and just added Echo to my list! thanks for the recommendation. I have enjoyed many of Pam Munoz Ryan’s books in the past.
      I hope to meet Dan someday. Since he lives in Washington, I think it may happen sometime.
      I miss you too! Keep reading!
      Mrs. Hembree

  2. Sounds like a must-read there – I shall add it to my wishlist! What age would you say it was aimed at? I love reading teen fiction myself – I’m reading ‘Spilled Water’ by Sally Grindley and stayed up far too late last night trying to reach the end (I didn’t make it quite!)
    I love your book trailer, it reminds me that we haven’t made any this year so it’s back on my list of things to squeeze in to my teaching!
    Your reading friend,
    Mrs Monaghan

    • Dear Mrs. Monaghan,
      As I mentioned to Miss Y, The Honest Truth is available in the UK, but it has a different color. It’s a blue background, but has a mountain peak in the middle instead of a crevasse. I saw a photo of Dan holding the cover. We call it a middle grade novel, which in my opinion is grades 4-8ish. Because it does have the cancer/dying possibilities, it may not be appropriate for under age 9.
      My 4th graders are making book trailers right now using Microsoft Photostory 3. It’s a big project for sure!
      Happy Reading,
      Mrs. Hembree

  3. Hi Mrs Hembree,

    I’m thrilled that Dan the author (and fellow teacher librarian) loved your book trailer for his book because I did too! You went to a lot of trouble to capture just the right images for your book trailer and it shows that the book spoke to your heart. If you say that ‘The Honest Truth’ is up there with ‘The One and Only Ivan’ and ‘Wonder’ then I’m definitely tracking down a copy from here in Australia!!

    Happy reading and creating Mrs Hembree…

    Miss Y 🙂

    • Miss Y,
      We all love different styles of books, but this book just really touched me. I also loved that I knew every place mentioned. I know it’s available in the UK, so perhaps it’s in Australia too!
      It’s so great to hear from you too!
      Smiling in WA,
      Mrs. Hembree

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