Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tru Confessions by Janet Tashjian

Truly, truly, I did not want to put this book in the DaVinci pile.

Trudy writes in a fun stream-of-conscience style into her journal. She’s a lively, witty, and engaging middle-schooler.

She’s also a twin. Her brother, Eddie, has special needs and this journaling story reveals and deals with Trudy’s worries, experiences, and responsibility in caring for and loving her brother. And also overcoming her own fears about growing up while he does not and her guilt in being the twin without special needs.

Trudy’s dad is in the Peace Corps, which he joined shortly after the birth of the children. While the pressure of parenting a child like Eddie played a part in his departure, Trudy’s mom is appropriately tight-lipped about the details. And Trudy sums things up perfectly when she comments,” Charity begins at home.”

Trudy engages in questionable behavior that calls for more discussion. For example, she jokes about stealing answers to a math quiz, breaks the security on her mom’s computer, and uses her brother’s disability by sending him in to shoplift items she likes. None of these issues were addressed adequately in the book.

The mom shows remarkable sense when she makes Trudy apologize for pushing a boy off a bench who had been cruelly mocking her brother. Trudy didn’t feel sorry, but thanks to her mom, she did take the high ground.

Where the book lost me was when Trudy wrote a story about a séance and the channeling woman was supposed to be channeling a dead relative because, for example, she played the piano during the séance, and she doesn’t actually know how to play. To clinch the problem, shortly thereafter, Trudy gives a Ouija board as a birthday gift.

Sigh. I know Rome is currently forced to train more exorcists as secularized Europe delves more deeply into the occult whilst simultaneously rejecting their Christian heritage. By the time some people figure out the spirit of Dear Old Uncle Ed isn’t so benign, it’s sometimes too late to turn back.

I’d turn my back and my children’s on anything that portrays the occult as harmless or a joke. That’s the message here. May the readers and the author be protected in their ignorance.


See: Catechism of the Catholic Church: 2116


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