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I'm a total sucker for dog books, especially when they don't get killed off at the end. And from the very first chapter, I knew this was a story I wanted to read all the way through. Something about the voice having an authentic feel to it. "Tell you what" smattered throughout as Mason Buttle's catch-phrase. But not overdone. Mason is a tall, sweaty, can't-read-much boy who longs to belong. His best friend died months ago and the local lieutenant thinks poor Mason had something to do with it. Through the care of his Uncle Drum, Grandma, a wonderful social worker at school, Ms. Blinny, and a caring neighbor mom who asks him to watch their dog whenever they're away, the truth finally comes out. At times the story lags a bit (he and a small neighbor boy Chumsky find an old-time food pantry and turn it into a hideout based on the French caves of Lascaux) but Leslie Connor always has a reason for each deatil. Even out-of-place Shayleen, a character I thought should have been cut, serves a purpose by the end of the story. A satisfying read with all the subplots neatly tied up by the end. 4.5 stars.
This book is so good with hard struggles that Mason and his friend have to get through makes it heartwarming but sad
Leslie Connor does a great job of writing unconventional, small-town characters. This is a great book about kids who need a little extra help at school, how they are complete people with rich inner lives that they sometimes feel compelled to hide from people who they fear won't understand, and how they can thrive when caring adults give them the supports they need. So sad and sweet.
Oh, Mason. I want to simultaneously empower and protect you. I want you to know what you need to know to stay safe and sane in this world and I want to do everything I can to shield you from that kind of information. It's easy to see how your grownups wrestle with this, too, especially while they fight through their own pain.
I would have given it more than five stars if I could have! I want this one to win ALL THE AWARDS! This is a story about a nearly-illiterate boy who is relentlessly bullied, and whose best friend has recently died in a mysterious accident that the police think only Mason knows the details of. Mason and his new friend Calvin find respite from the bullies in the most unlikely place, but when another accident occurs, Mason finds himself in a hot seat that he literally can't understand. This book has all the makings of a classic. The writing was engaging, the characterization was perfection, and the message beautiful. I couldn't recommend this one enough! READ THIS BOOK. You will love it.
I was so captivated by this book, I read it in one sitting, and has stayed with me ever since. I am a character reader, so I was particularly drawn to Mason. I appreciated the suspense, and had so much empathy for Mason in both the good and bad moments. This book has a great hook when booktalking to kids, and I had many patrons read it and tell me how much the enjoyed it. One of my favorites from 2018.
I was surprised by how much this book and the boy Mason Buttle grew on me as I read the book. It is a powerful story of a child with a health condition and a reading disability who cannot read and is in middle school in a rural area, living with his grandmother and uncle.
I am not sure if this rather slow-paced book would keep the interest of a child in upper elementary school, and it may not be interesting for for older children. I noticed that most of the reviews were done by adults.
I checked it out of the library to read to see if it would be a good gift to one of my grandsons and decided that although I really enjoyed this book, which turned out to be quite complex, I did not think it would hold their attention. It might work well if it were read aloud to a child ages 10-12--either by parents or in a school setting.
A sensitive, realistic, and moving story about a boy dealing with a wealth of challenges, from his learning disabilities to his family situation to grief. Mason Buttle is a most engaging and admirable character, and he tells his tale with real suspense and heart.
A moving story about a young boy with a heart of gold who is misunderstood by most people that know him and who also suffers from bullying almost every day. The mystery of what happens to Mason's best friend Benny will keep you reading till the very end.
I enjoy a good children’s book every now and then. Sometimes I just need a simple, feel-good story. Tell you what. I loved Mason, Calvin and Moonie. Endearing characters that will stay with me. Having my own son who is a little different and had trouble making friends, made me love Mason all the more. Wish my son had a Ms. Blinny, the Dragon, and the SWOOF room at school. A sweet book that I would recommend to adults who like children’s literature.
I loved loved loved this book. Mason Buttle is an oversized, super sweaty, country kid who has to outrun bullies every day at the bus drop. He can't read words very well, but he has no trouble reading the human heart. He can spot goodness and meanness pretty quick. When his best friends body is found dead at the base of their tree fort in Mason's family orchard, the police are all over him. Can a grieving, learning disabled kid get to the bottom of this mystery that the whole town thinks involves him?
What a wonderful contribution to middle grade literature. This book is a treasure. In a time when many tend to think the worst of their fellow man, along comes Mason Buttle. He has many obstacles in his life yet he treats others with empathy and show wisdom beyond his years. We are given a front row seat in Mason's day-to-day experiences and see every bit from his perspective. Leslie Connor has done a fantastic job in telling this story for Mason while helping us to see his struggles and triumphs in such an authentic way. We can all learn from Mason Buttle. Highly recommended!