"[Ellis] masterfully keep[s] her readers on tenterhooks-particularly in her pyschologically nuanced portrayal of Jess."- Quill & Quire "Ellis has done a first-rate job of putting friendship under a literary microscope." - CM Magazine Oct 14, 2011 Ellis here offers readers a ...gripping character study of teens in small-town Canada... Jess-sharply insightful, but selfish and entirely lacking in empathy-may be a piece of work, but she grabs readers' attention and never lets it go. - Kirkus Jan 18, 2012 "Ellis has again delved into the psychological depths of youth and produced a story that will force readers to look inside themselves and ask-really consider-what they would do in Jess's situation." - Resource Links Dec 4, 2011 "A story about friendship, loyalty filled with prejudice, and a mystery that deals with mature social issues...Anxious for the reveal at the end, I didn't want to stop reading." - Calgary Herald July 4, 2011 "...explores loyalty (or lack thereof) between lifelong friends, the bigotry and cruelty of small town minds, and the failure of parents to know what their teen is feeling...[An] impressive book. The gripping suspense and surprise ending will leave readers demanding that Deborah Ellis write another mystery."- Goodreads- Oct 13, 2011 "... the kind of great YA literature that you need people to read and discuss. ...Powerful." - Ken Setterington's Picks, The Next Chapter, CBC Radio - Dec 12, 2011 "With important moral issues, gripping suspense and a surprise ending, this is a must-read book for teenagers. Once again Ellis has delved into new territory with impressive results." - Winnipeg Free Press - Sept 17, 2011
" ...a complex psychological story...no happily ever afters. Whether or not Casey was guilty is largely irrelevant. What's more important is the impact of the accusation itself, and the lives...irrevocably changed by it...a fast-paced thought-provoking read...will generate lots of interesting questions for discussion both in and out of the classroom for tweens and teens ... Highly recommended 12 yrs and up. - Reading Timbits
This intelligent mystery is a complete 180 from the author's leprosy-in-India tale, No Ordinary Day (2011), but is similar in how its impact sneaks up on you . . . The unreliability of Jess' first-person account becomes increasingly obvious as we learn the depths of Jess' jealousy and the dubiousness of her morals. The mystery here is not just a whodunit but how loyalty and betrayal can rest along such a razor's edge. - ALA Booklist Jess . . . grabs readers' attention and never lets it go. - Kirkus Reviews Deborah Ellis has again delved into the psychological depths of youth and produced a story that will force readers to look inside themselves and ask - really consider - what they would do in Jess's situation. - Resource Links . . . Ellis's masterful novel makes every word count, thus highlighting Jess as a deeply conflicted, not totally reliable, narrator who is so afraid of losing the only part of her life that she values - Casey - that she doesn't realize how much her actions have cost her. A compelling and moving read, True Blue is about the courage to believe in oneself and fight for what's right, even when it is the hardest thing to do. A book worthy of any school curriculum. - School Library Journal Jess's relationship with her mentally unstable mother is beautifully nuanced, revealing the faults and reasonableness of both parties without violating Jess's perspective. Ellis creates complex adult characters as seen through the narrator's critical perspective, a difficult challenge that many YA novelists fail, or do not attempt, to achieve. Finally, Ellis's bold ending causes the message to resonate with the reader long afterwards. - Canadian Children's Book News With important moral issues, gripping suspense and a surprise ending, this is a must-read book for teenagers. Once again Ellis has delved into new territory with impressive results. - Winnipeg Free Press
Ellis has created a real story about young people we may know and given us much to ponder about choices made. Brilliant. - CanLit for LittleCanadians . . . gritty and bitter and sensitive and unflinching - both ripped from the headlines and totally unique. The mystery kept me guessing, and the characters kept me up late. - Ten Stories Up Not many books for teens fall into the genre of psychological thriller, but True Blue definitely has the chops to be a riveting, disturbing page-turner. - LibraryPoint This is a fast-paced and thought-provoking read, and one that will generate lots of interesting questions for discussion both in and out of the classroom for tweens and teens. - Reading Timbits
About the Author
"Deborah Ellis is the internationally acclaimed author of more than twenty books for children, including the Breadwinner trilogy; The Heaven Shop; I Am a Taxi; Lunch With Lenin; and No Safe Place. Deborah says of the characters she creates, ""Courage interests me - when we have it, when we don't, and how we make the decision to be brave or cowardly. There's a lot we can't control, but we can control our choices. Make them deliberately. Make them with thought and with courage."" A peace activist, feminist, and humanitarian, Deborah has won many national and international awards for her books, including the Governor General's Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award, the American Library Association's Notable List and the Jane Addams Children's Book Award. In 2010, she received The Ontario Library Association President's Award for Exceptional Achievement. Deborah lives in Simcoe, Ontario."