Author: Gary Paulsen
ISBN: 978-0-385-74001-2

Click Here To Purchase Liar, Liar: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Deception

People who say that honesty is the best policy are lying. At least, that’s what out main character, Kevin is absolutely sure of. Kevin is fourteen-years-old and has an older sister and brother who constantly fight about who’s going to use the car that their Auntie Buzz gave to the three of them to share. Mom is always working at the book store, and Dad is always traveling to a different state doing his job, so things are a bit tense in the house.


Kevin has spent his life lying. He discovered early on that if you tell people what they want to hear it’s, frankly, much easier that way; life is a breeze when you give people what they want. Kevin is an eighth-grader and his best friend is a boy by the name of JonPaul. JonPaul is a huge young man who loves sports, but is an absolute germaphobe. He thinks girls are “germy” and is constantly disinfecting his hands no matter where he and Kevin go.

Kevin gets along well with his teachers, but this one day he suddenly finds himself completely in love with a girl named Tina. Although he’d seen her at school for years, he practically trips over his own two feet when he finds out that she exists…and is absolutely beautiful. A plan begins to form in his mind that will allow him
to spend more time around Tina and convince her that HE is the guy of her dreams.


Making up fake excuses to his teachers - such as telling his art teacher that he wants to miss a few classes because he’s going to help the theatre department build sets; and, tells his gym teacher that he’d like some time off so that he can become the sports writer for the school newspaper and write wonderful articles about the sports department. The teachers believe him, and Kevin suddenly finds himself able to be where he needs to be at all times - in Tina’s line of site.


A few things crop up for Kevin such as being partnered up with a class know-it-all named Katie in order to finish a very important assignment. What does Kevin do to free up his time? He tells Katie that he has a dreaded disease - and gets her sympathy so that she will do the project by herself, yet he’ll still get credit for it.

He lies to his parents in order to go to a concert (and I love this name - the headliner will be Bucket o’ Snot ‘n Puke J ). He lies to his sister and brother in order to get them to fight with each other, and he even lies to his germaphobe friend and practically gives him a heart attack.

Soon, as all good lies have a way of doing, everything unravels for Kevin and he is faced with the fact that he’s torn his parents apart; he’s made his siblings so mad that they will barely speak to him; he’s lost his best friend; he’s turned the school against him; and, the only thing he can do to make everything right is tell the truth.


Gary Paulsen has always been a fantastic author, who has written many critically-acclaimed novels, as well as being a three-time Newberry Honor winner. He certainly hasn’t lost his touch. The lessons he teaches middle-schoolers by using love, intelligence, heart, friendship…and a whole lot of laughs is sheer perfection. Bravo! (Yet, Again)


Click Here To Purchase Liar, Liar: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Deception