Say-What-You-Mean book cover

Say What You Mean (Mean What You Say)

By Jan L. Coates
Trap Door Books
Ages 10–14

Most kids are born pretty literal-minded and eventually encounter the frustration of a world full of people who speak in metaphors, half-truths, white lies, allusions, and metaphors. “How nice,” they think, “it would be if I could just read minds.” When protagonist Jake MacKinnon’s wish comes true on his 12th birthday, he quickly learns why people so often dissemble and avoid the literal truth. An accomplished young-adult author from the Annapolis Valley, author Jan L. Coates uses vivid writing and strong characterization to impart a simple, unpleasant, and necessary reality: sometimes, the truth sucks. This is an ideal book for young readers who haven’t quite grasped the value of tact and kind lies yet.

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