by Judy Blundell
Now that the war is over and her stepfather Joe is back, Evie is thrilled that life is getting back to normal. No more rationing or not being able to buy new things. Joe is even taking her and her mother down to Palm Beach for a proper vacation. A vacation where she can finally meet a boy to fall in love with. Peter is everything she could dream of in a man. But she's about to find out that things aren't always how they appear, and that she might not really know what even the people she loves the most are truly capable of. Terrible things don't just happen in war.
A historical fiction novel, What I saw and how I lied, combines a WWII story with lessons of prejudice and doing the right thing. Evie is a girl who can't wait to grow up, but when her parents go to trial for killing Peter, she learns that growing up is not all black and white. She has to make the choice about whether to tell the truth about what she knows, or to lie to save her parents from jail. The book talks about wartime injustices as well as war looting and profiteering (which is how Joe made his money). Evie must struggle with seeing her first real examples of prejudicism, when friends are kicked out of their hotel for being Jewish, and rectify that with her belief that that problem should have been over and done with now that such a huge war had been fought. It's a well written book that will hold ones attention.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Level: 7-8th Grade