Kevin is a master liar. He is only telling people what they want to hear—providing a community service, so to speak. His homework is done, he thinks you look great and yes, he understands that 12-step math equation. It’s just good manners to gloss over the truth to make people happy, and sometimes telling a little lie helps Kevin out, too.

It’s not his intention for Katie to do all the work on their school project by telling her he has a rare disease, but she does offer. He doesn’t mean to send JonPaul into a near crippling state of hypochondria with his fabricated blackout story; he just wants JonPaul to go home.

Things get way out of hand when 14-year-old Kevin falls in love with Tina. Kevin’s falsehoods are aimed at persuading her that he is perfect boyfriend material. Casually convincing his teachers that his presence is desperately needed elsewhere for drama club, student council, wrestling team management and student paper, his lies take on a dizzying tornado effect.

It gets so twisted and wild that Kevin may have to resort to actually telling the truth.

Liar, Liar is a laugh-out-loud tale of teenage angst from beloved and prolific author Gary Paulsen. Familiar topics of crushes, financial trouble and family dynamics are nicely woven into the story, and Paulsen’s characters are as personable and believable as ever. Young readers will enjoy the conversational tone of the book while parents will appreciate the moral message. And that’s no lie.


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