The Truth Project by Dante Medema
Quill Tree Books / Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 30, 2020
High school senior Cordelia has her senior writing project all planned: she’ll take a DNA test just like her sister did, and write about identity and her family history. She also manages to get paired with her childhood crush, Kodiak, on the project. But when her genealogy results come in, Cordelia learns her father is not who she thought — which sends her spiraling as her plan for her senior year completely changes.
This free verse novel has a lot of white space on the page and reads quickly. Poems are short and spaced out. Additional storytelling comes in the form of text messages and emails, adding some variety while keeping things fast-paced. The writing is clear, and the plot is straightforward. The search for identity is a familiar theme with strong emotional appeal to teens, and many teens will relate to Delia’s sense of being out-of-place even among the people who know her best.
This title will appeal to fans of high drama and tearjerker books-to-movies like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Five Feet Apart. Similar books include Far from the Tree by Robin Benway and Three Things I Know Are True by Betty Culley.
—Emily Williams, Oklahoma City, OK
Other Nominated Titles
- Nubia: The Real One by L.L. McKinney, Illustrated by Robyn Smith (February 23, 2021)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the field nomination form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.