Booktalk: All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry

All the Truth Thats in Me cover

All the Truth That’s in Me is primarily a suspense story, but it’s also a historical fiction novel which is unusual because we never know exactly when this story takes place.  The story unfolds in short, poetic chapters told from the point of view of a girl who has survived one ordeal and may have to survive another.  Judith is a fascinating narrator — sometimes unreliable because of the gaps in her memory and understanding, but always empathetic.

Check out Julie Berry’s website for more information about this book and her other titles for young readers.


Four years ago, Judith and her best friend Lottie disappeared.  Soon afterwards, Lottie was found, dead, in a stream.  Two years after that, Judith suddenly came back to town, but she couldn’t tell anyone what had happened to Lottie or what had happened to her.  That’s because the man who had kidnapped her had cut out her tongue to make sure she wouldn’t speak.

He also told her that if she tried to tell anyone what had happened, that he would destroy her town.  She’d spent enough time with him that she’d seen all of his weapons and explosives, and she knew that he could do it.

For two years, Judith has lived as an outcast.  Nobody wants to talk to her or interact with her.  Nobody knows what to say to her.  And she doesn’t know what to say to them without putting them in danger.

But when the town is threatened once again, Judith can think of only one way to save it.  And that means going back to the place where she was held captive for two years.  Going back to the man who kidnapped her and cut out her tongue so that she wouldn’t speak.  And pleading with him to use his weapons and save the town before it’s too late.

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