I was a huge fan of Caroline B. Cooney when I was younger. Face on a Milk Carton was one of my favorite books, as was the rest of the series....I loved them! And I must admit, bad librarian that I am, that I haven't read a book by this author in probably 10 years. Bad, bad!! Well, after picking up this latest piece of work by Cooney, I can certainly see what the appeal is to upper middle grade kids and young adults, though I think, now being an adult myself, the writing style has lost a bit of it's magic for me.
If the Witness Lied is an emotional story about a family is true turmoil. Jack Fountain's mother died because she dared carry his youngest sibling to term, not allowing the necessary chemo treatments to treat her cancer. His father then died in a tragic accident, caused by none other than that same youngest sibling. The media has been interested in his family's story for quite some time and Aunt Cheryl, the guardian of the children, is quick to feed into their interest.
With Jack struggling to take care of his baby brother while attending school, Madison no longer living in their household, but with friends, and Smithy away at a boarding school she enrolled herself into, the Fountain family is seemingly broken and unfixable. With the looming television show Cheryl has gotten them into, coming too close for comfort, these siblings finally bond and vow to protect their littlest brother from media exposure, at any cost, which unraveling more and more secrets about their family.
With a great plot concept, intriguing doesn't begin to describe this story. I did feel the pace was a bit slow, almost bordering on boring at times, but the actual idea of the plot was pretty awesome and currently very relevent. Teens will really enjoy the Fountain siblings' story.
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If the Witness Lied
Caroline B. Cooney