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Testify [Paperback]

Valerie Sherrard
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 9.99
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Book Description

Aug. 4 2011 Keystone

Short-listed for the Forest of Reading Red Maple Award, 2012

Before you judge me, there are two things you should know about why I did it.

Shana Tremain is a good kid. She knows right from wrong and she's never been in any serious trouble. But when her best friend, Carrie, comes to her for help, Shana agrees to break the law to save Carrie from a molester. She even feels good about it for a while.

Then trouble starts. Someone in their group of friends is stealing from the others. As she searches for the truth, Shana uncovers evidence that raises a terrifying question: Has she made a horrible mistake?

Faced with the reality of what she's done, Shana finds herself trapped in a web of her own lies and deceit. Can she convince the right people that she's telling the truth now? Either way its clear someone is going to pay a terrible price for her crime.


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Review

Testify is a solid thriller and mystery story with definite "true crime" aspects, but it manages to hold the reader's attention without resorting to violence of any kind. Readers will be rooting for Shana to figure out how Carrie manages to always come out on top and will be quivering with intensity, eagerly flipping the pages to find out what happens next. (CM Magazine)

Some of the situations are a bit over the top but in the style of psychological thriller. Carrie is brilliantly manipulative and manages to convince most everyone that she is a victim. (Resource Links)

Sherrard generally does a great job of creating a sense of intrigue and mystery while capturing the tone of modern adolescents interactions and their desperate need to be accepted into a group. (The Waterloo Region Record 2011-11-18)

Sherrard gets so much right in the novel's tone and in the girl's chemistry that its impossible not to buy into her thoroughly modern take on teenage vigilante justice. (Quill and Quire 2011-07-01)

About the Author

Valerie Sherrard has written more than a dozen novels for young people, including the Shelby Belgarden Mysteries, Watcher, Sarah’s Legacy, Speechless, and her first historical novel, Three Million Acres of Flame. Her work has been shortlisted for numerous Canadian awards, including the Ann Connor Brimer, Red Maple, and Snow Willow Awards. She lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick.

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and believable Sept. 5 2011
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent book about a teen who tries to protect a friend from what she believes is sexual abuse from her stepfather. The relationships amongst the group of young girls are particularly well done. The story moves along at a great pace, and never lets you down. It doesn't take long for Shana to discover that her friend Carrie is not to be trusted. Carrie is the only character who is a little over-the-top, but she is really so interesting and scary that it doesn't matter.
The moral dilemmas Shana has to face are exceptionally well-handled, the structure is great - I enjoyed the moral complexity of the girl's situation, and found how she handled it realistic and moving. The author has such a sure, deft hand she makes it look easy, but something this seamlessly told takes real talent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another riveting novel from Sherrard Dec 15 2012
By fiona
Format:Paperback
I grew up reading Valerie Sherrard's books and have always enjoyed them. Even though I am no longer a young adult, I still find myself gravitating towards the books she authors. I must say that her books will always hold a special place in my heart, and that her talent for writing children's and Young Adult literature never ceases to amaze me.

In Testify, Sherrard crafts a riveting story about the moral messiness of lying and giving false testimony. Shana is persuaded by her best friend, Carrie, to lie about having witnessed Carrie's stepfather sexually abusing her. The situation goes awry when Shana discovers that Carrie has lied about the alleged abuse, among other things. A prominent theme in this novel is the changing dynamics of friendship and its far-reaching implications. Sherrard convincingly portrays the complexities of young girls' friendships, including the sheer meanness and nasty rumours that are capable of permeating one's life and self-image. This raises an important point about the serious issue of bullying that occurs among many young people and the pervasive effects it has on victims.

The dialogue in this novel is very candid and Shana has a very distinct voice. As a reader, I found that I could connect well to her. Like Sherrard's other novels, this one is gripping and thoroughly engaging. Testify is a slim book that you could conceivably devour in a few hours. Sherrard's writing will keep you turning the pages!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packs a wallop Nov. 9 2011
Format:Paperback
This short novel packs a wallop in terms of great storytelling and believable characters. Once I started it, I could not put it down until I finished. Sherrard has a gift for writing nuanced stories with very few words.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Packs a wallop Nov. 9 2011
By Marsha S - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This short novel packs a wallop in terms of great storytelling and believable characters. Once I started it, I could not put it down until I finished. Sherrard has a gift for writing nuanced stories with very few words.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and believable Sept. 5 2011
By S. Dalton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent book about a teen who lies to protect a friend from what she believes is sexual abuse from her stepfather. The relationships amongst the group of young girls are particularly well done. The story moves along at a great pace, and never lets you down. It doesn't take long for Shana to discover that her friend Carrie has lied to her - and about more than the abuse. Carrie is the only character who is a little over-the-top, but she is really so interesting and scary that it doesn't matter. Besides, I may just feel that way because I am older and went to a Catholic school when I was a girl, where we all seemed to behave ourselves rather well. Standards seem to have changed in the interim, and "mean girls" abound.
The moral dilemmas Shana has to face are exceptionally well-handled, the structure is great - I enjoyed the moral complexity of the girl's situation, and found how she handled it realistic and moving. The author really doesn't put a foot wrong in this incredibly well-told tale.
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