Mock Printz booktalk: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

What follows is a booktalk for a title on our Mock Printz shortlist. We hope you’ll be able to join us at the event where our winner will be chosen! This booktalk was written by Jackie Partch of Multnomah County Library.

The cover of the book The Lie Tree by Frances HardingeFaith’s family has moved to the island of Vane so her father can help with an excavation of fossils. At least, that’s what they tell everyone, but Faith, who quietly listens in on adult conversations, knows that her father has been accused of doing something unethical. Really they are moving to the island to escape the accusations. But it’s not long before the news of her father’s deeds reaches the island. One night, Faith’s father asks her to help him hide a mysterious package in a sea cave. When they return home, he refuses to come inside. The next morning his body is found at the base of a cliff. Everyone assumes her father jumped, but Faith is convinced he was murdered. To get clues, Faith begins reading his journals, where he talks of finding a magical tree that would grow fruit whenever a person told it lies. When the person ate the tree’s fruit, he would have visions of the truth. Could the murderers have been after the tree, Faith wonders? And do they realize that she may know its location?