I loved Leslie Connor’s novel, All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook. That novel by far has been my favorite read of this entire school year. As soon as I saw Leslie Connor had another novel, I had to buy it, and I couldn’t wait to start reading it. I have been dying for another novel as good as All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook. If anyone could write another book as good as All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, it would surely be a book written by the same author!
Although it was good, The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle just didn’t have the strength and power within the voice of its main character, Mason, as Perry did in All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook. Perry beats Mason by a landslide in my book.
Mason was an endearing character, but he lacked the personality that I felt was needed to really drive the story. Mason is a child that struggles with severe dyslexia. He cannot get his words out when it comes to telling his story or when it comes to explaining the truth behind his friend’s sudden death.
I understood where Leslie Connor was going with her character of Mason Buttle, but it was hard for me to believe that Mason had the ability to narrate this entire story if he couldn’t tell the truth behind his friend’s death. I think an alternate approach to the narrator maybe would have made Mason’s disability a little more impactful on his same-time inability to help with the investigation of his friend’s death.
The beginning of the story was more believable for me. You really empathized with Mason as he was mourning the death of his only friend. In all honesty, I really associated the character of Mason with the famous character of Lenny in Of Mice and Men. He was this loveable character that got mixed in with the wrong side of the law. Although Mason was innocent, he lacked the ability to communicate his story in a written form to the office investigating his friend’s case. Therefore, Mason became the prime suspect in his friend’s death.
The need for Mason's testimony to be in written form is where Connor lost me. Eventually, he utilizes the app, Dragon Dictation, in order to put his story down on print-form for Lieutenant Baird. The app called Dragon Dictation is a common app we use in school for kids that struggle to write. It allows their speech to be dictated by written type. My whole thought is why didn’t Lieutenant Baird just take Mason’s verbal testimony.
Dyslexia is super common these days, and surely an officer in today’s world would know the implications of dyslexia if he was all able to accept Dragon Dictation. I just didn’t get it. It lost its power for me with Lieutenant Baird’s inability to accept a modified testimony from a child with special needs.