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K-12 Evaluated Resource Collection

Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, The

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Author/Publisher/Website: Connor, L.
Copyright: 2018
Evaluation/Record Entry Date: Apr/2019
Submitting suppliers/Website: Not Available
Primary Identifier: 9780062491435
Recommended Grades and Subjects/Courses: 7-10
(View recommended grades and subjects) English Language Arts

Resource Description

Twelve-year-old Mason is a large, sweaty boy with learning disabilities who is also honest and kind but when his best friend Ben dies, the police question him and don’t seem to believe him. Mason makes friends with Calvin, who is bullied as is Mason, and they create a safe retreat for themselves, but when Calvin goes missing Mason is again blamed and it takes time before his name is cleared. This suspenseful story for grades 7-10 deals with issues of friendship, bullying, learning disabilities, synaesthesia, mystery, and grief, and is suited to a literature circle, independent or class novel, and to launch inquiry projects on synaesthesia, cave art work, learning disabilities, and learning styles.

CURRICULUM FIT

Does the resource support BC curriculum?
Moderately
This product supports the Core Competencies of the BC curriculum:
Communication
Positive Personal and Cultural Identity
Personal Awareness and Responsibility
Comments:
This novel would fit with the grades eight to ten English curricula as well as Communications 11 and 12. It is a story that can be read independently, in literature circles, or as a class. It is not an action-filled, fast-paced story.

SOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Violence:
There are scenes with the bullies throwing apples and lacrosse balls, and chasing the two boys aggressively. There are also a few scenes where a dog is abused by its owner and the other bullies. It is discovered at the end of the book that the unsolved murder of Mason's best friend was caused by one of the bullies.
Do the social considerations support, rather than detract from, student learning?
Extensively
Social Considerations Comments:
There are no real social considerations in the storyline. There is some bullying that happens to the main character, Mason, and his friend, Calvin. Some boys throw apples and chase them. This progresses to Calvin becoming severely injured. There is also some aggressiveness towards a dog but there are no injuries. Mason is a thoughtful, kind character but has some learning issues which are not clearly described.

GENERAL CONTENT

Content
Is the resource engaging?
Moderately
Is the content current for the intended curriculum and grade?
Extensively
Is the content accurate for the intended curriculum and grade?
Moderately
Is the content timely and important for student broad understandings?
Moderately
Audience:
Is the content appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Does the resource provide opportunities for creative and critical thinking?
Moderately
Is the level of detail appropriate?
Extensively
Is the language use appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Comments:
The novel's main character speaks in incomplete sentences and odd phrasing through much of the book. The subject matter is general enough that would be interesting to different age groups, but more so grades 7 to 10. Interestingly, words are introduced to the main character, and so the reader, in italics, and described in straightforward ways, which gives the novel another reading dimension.

TECHNICAL DESIGN

Does the resource make effective use of the medium?
Extensively
Is the resource easy to use?
Extensively
Is the use of font, text size and presentation uniform?
Extensively
Comments:
This novel has a fairly large text size and short chapters. The font is easy to read. There are short sections where Mason is writing a story and the story is shown in a different but easy-to-read font.

PRINT NOVEL

Does the text show insight into the complexity of the human condition?
Extensively
Does the text broaden students’ experiences and understanding?
Moderately
To what degree is this text stylistically rich?
Moderately
Plot description:
The story is told by Mason Buttle who is large, sweaty, and has a hard time reading and writing. He is also a very honest and kind person. He goes to a classroom called 'SWOOF' and uses a voice-to-text program to record his memories to help a policeman with the investigation into his best friend, Ben's, death. He is also bullied by three boys, especially Matt who lives nearby with a dog Mason loves. Mason becomes friends with Calvin who is also being bullied and together they create a retreat out of an old root cellar. One day Calvin gets hurt and the events that follow make Mason realize that he is the one being blamed for his friend's death. He is finally cleared and things get better.
Related Comments:
The storyline for The Truth As Told by Mason Buttle is one of friendship, bullying, and special young man's journey through a few difficult situations. The one stand-out feature of this story is how the author writes the main character's thoughts. They are often in choppy or incomplete sentences, and sometimes single words. The other characters are given life through their interactions. There are many different relationships in the story which all build on Mason's character. It is not a difficult read and is an accessible storyline.
Genre:
Contemporary
Literary Highlights:
Point of view
Type:
Novel

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Readability:
At intended grade level(s)
Comments:
Award-winning author, Finalist - National Book Awards 2018 for Young People's Literature

SUGGESTED CLASSROOM USAGE

Comments:
The novel could be used in the traditional way, such as literature circles, independent reading choice, or as a whole class project. There are two topics that come up in the novel that lend themselves to a possible extension research project. One is 'synaesthesia' where a person sees colours connected to emotions, objects, or ideas. The second is caves in France, called Lascaux, with ancient art work. Also, research could be done on learning disabilities and learning styles.
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