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The Truth Commission by Susan Juby


Topics of Interest: friendship, graphic novels, art, familial responsibilities, fashion, truth and lies

Curriculum Connections: English, Visual Art

Gender: F/M

Age: 14+

Blurb: I’m not going to lie: Sometimes I hate writing. Seriously. When I’m not in the mood for it, writing can be painful…yep, finding the right words can be as bad as pulling teeth. And because it is painful, I get resentful of it as well, especially while on a deadline. I resent having to be creative when I don’t feel like it, and I stress out over the fact that I may never come up with new material again. What if I get stuck just rehashing the same stuff over and over? Is it still plagiarism if you copy your own work?

Whew, that confession felt good.  Telling the truth can be therapeutic, or so the members of the Truth Commission believe. That’s why they’ve started asking their peers blatant questions about themselves. Secrets just feed gossip, and Normandy, Neil, and Dusk are determined to build a better, more positive community at their prestigious art school. The Truth Commission allows people to end, once and for all, the assumptions others have about them. In fact, they believe that most people want others to know the truth.

But there’s a fine line between asking people the truth and sticking your nose in their business, something the Truth Commission finds out the hard way. And then there are secrets that should never be revealed at all.

Rumours and lies vs truth and reality. Who knew that the truth could be so dangerous?

Flavour: “’I want to ask someone the truth,’ said Dusk. ‘I think truth is what has been missing in my life. Well, it’s one of the things that has been missing, along with a sense of purpose and positive self-esteem.’ Neil faced us. ‘I believe this could be our new spiritual practice,’ he said. ‘Each week, each of us will ask someone else the truth.’ ‘It is our destiny to bring some much-needed truth into this world of lies,’ said Dusk. And so the Truth Commission was born.” (20)

“’Asking people their private business isn’t nurturing them,’ [said Normandy.] ‘I think it is,’ said Dusk. ‘It shows you care.’ She pointed her index and middle finger at her own eyes and then at mine. ‘I see you.’ ‘That’s what we’re saying to people with the Truth Commission.’” (69)

“It was one thing to ask the truth of people who wanted to tell it. It was something else entirely to pry the truth out of liars, delusionals, and sweetly committed pretenders who weren’t hurting anyone with their delusions.” (232-33)

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