Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Book review - Tru and Nelle

Title: Tru & Nelle
Author: G. Neri
Genre: historical fiction
Similar books: Young Houdini by Simon Nicholson
                     My Near Death Adventures(99% True) by Alison DeCamp
charming, but audience specific

Summary (provided by publisher): Long before they became famous writers, Truman Capote (In Cold Blood) and Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird) were childhood friends in Monroeville, Alabama. This fictionalized account of their time together opens at the beginning of the Great Depression, when Tru is seven and Nelle is six. They love playing pirates, but they like playing Sherlock and Watson-style detectives the most. It's their pursuit of a case of drugstore theft that lands the daring duo in real trouble. Humor and heartache intermingle in this lively look at two budding writers in the 1930s South. 

My opinion: For a reader familiar with Capote and Lee, the events of this book are expected but too charming to become tiresome. I was entertained at every turn. The problem is, this book skews young. Content-wise, it's middle grade. The major characters, though, are early elementary. And 5-7th graders aren't likely to be familiar with either author. That's going to make this book a really tough sell, especially as there isn't enough depth to the secondary characters to up the appeal. Frankly, I expect the largest audience for this book to be adults looking for a quick read.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

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