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If the witness lied /

If the witness lied /
Cooney, Caroline B.
Copies: 2; Reserves: 0

Torn apart by tragedies and the publicity they brought, siblings Smithy, Jack, and Madison, aged fourteen to sixteen, tap into their parent's courage to pull together and protect their brother Tris, nearly three, from further media exploitation and a much more sinister threat.
Add to Cart  Place Reserve    

Call NumberBranchStatusVolume
YA F Cooney Caroline KL In at KL (Kathryn Linnemann)
YA F Cooney Caroline SP In at SP (Spencer Road)

 catalog record

Control No. 609527
LCCN 2008023959
ISBN 9780385904513 (reinforced)
ISBN 0385904517 (reinforced)
ISBN 9780385734486 (trade) : -- $16.99
ISBN 0385734484 (trade) : -- $16.99
Author Cooney Caroline B
Title If the witness lied / -- Caroline B. Cooney.
Edition Statement 1st ed.
Publisher Information New York : -- Delacorte Press, -- c2009.
Physical Description 213 p. ; -- 22 cm.
Summary Torn apart by tragedies and the publicity they brought, siblings Smithy, Jack, and Madison, aged fourteen to sixteen, tap into their parent's courage to pull together and protect their brother Tris, nearly three, from further media exploitation and a much more sinister threat.
Subject Reality television programs Fiction
Subject Orphans Fiction
Subject Celebrities Fiction
Subject Family life Connecticut Fiction
Subject Brothers and sisters Fiction
Subject Grief Fiction
Subject Connecticut Fiction
Subject Young adult fiction
Subject - Local Young adult literature

 annotations (3)

Annotation 1 Torn apart by tragedies and the publicity they brought, siblings Smithy, Jack, and Madison, aged fourteen to sixteen, tap into their parent's courage to pull together and protect their brother Tris, nearly three, from further media exploitation and a much more sinister threat.

Annotation 2 Torn apart by tragedies and the publicity they brought, siblings Smithy, Jack, and Madison, aged fourteen to sixteen, tap into their parents' courage to pull together and protect their brother Tris, nearly three, from further media exploitation and a much more sinister threat.

Annotation 3 Choices do matter and forgiveness is possible.

Jack Fountain knows that what’s happened to his family sounds like the most horrible soap opera anyone could ever write. But it happened—to Jack; his parents; his sisters, Smithy and Madison. And to his baby brother, Tris. What made it worse was that the media wanted to know every detail.

Now it’s almost Tris’s third birthday, and everything’s starting again. Aunt Cheryl, who’s living with the Fountain children now that their parents are gone, has decided that they will heal only if they work through their pain—on camera. The very identities they’ve created for themselves are called into question. In less than twenty-four hours their fate will change yet again, but this time they vow to not be exploited and to discover the truth.

In this gripping thriller, Caroline B. Cooney details how love, devotion, and forgiveness make resilience—and recovery—possible.

From the Hardcover edition.


 reviews (7)

Booklist Reviews 2009 May #1
First Jack Fountain's mother dies of cancer after postponing treatment so her baby, Tris, could be born. Then his father is run over after two-year-old Tris accidentally moves the parking brake. Shortly after their father's death, Jack's sisters bail—Smithy to boarding school and Madison to her godparents' home. But Jack stays at home to watch over Tris, knowing that "Aunt" Cheryl, now ensconced in the family home, is hardly a mother figure. She then proves it by selling the Fountains' tragic story as a reality TV show. On their father's birthday, the girls are drawn home, and the siblings must put aside their hostilities to salvage their family and save their baby brother. There are many holes in this story, starting with Cheryl's ability to get custody, the unquestioning acceptance of Tris' ability to move the brake, and the TV producer's right to film without his subjects' permission. Moreover, the title gives away the twist. Despite all this, readers will be enthralled. This isn't about inconsistencies; it's about creepy (if one-dimensional) villains, page-turning action, and kids taking charge. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2009 #3
The Fountain children are marked by tragedy of the media-frenzy variety. Their mother decides to carry her fourth pregnancy to term despite the cancer threatening her life; a year after her much-publicized and -picketed death, the children's father is killed in a freak accident allegedly caused by that same baby, Tris. Now daughters Madison and Smithy have escaped to godparents and boarding school, respectively; and Jack shuns normal teenage pursuits to take care of Tris while their guardian, Aunt Cheryl, creepily excises all traces of their previous life from the house. Then, in one pivotal, action-filled day, Smithy and Madison decide, separately, to return home and do right by their family; Jack discovers Cheryl's plans to have their grieving process televised in a reality show; and an accumulation of clues indicates that their father's death was no accident. The pacing here is pure gold. Rotating through various perspectives to follow several plot strands (and making excellent use of modern communication technology to propel the intrigue), Cooney draws out the action, investing it with the slow-motion feel of an impending collision. The threat is so personal, so inescapably close, that the tension grows nearly unbearable as the climax, marked by a brilliantly revealed villain and motive, nears. Anchored by a poignant sibling reunion, this family-drama-turned-thriller will have readers racing, heart in throat, to reach the conclusion. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 April #2
Cooney's new psychologically penetrating page-turner immediately grabs readers then hangs on tight up to its satisfying conclusion. Three separated orphan siblings reunite to save their little brother and themselves from a media circus; while doing so, they discover not only that their father did not die accidentally as they had thought but that there is a murderer in their midst. Since the untimely deaths of their parents received saturation coverage in the media, the Fountain children have splintered. Jack, 15, lives with his uncaring step-aunt Cheryl and his almost-three-year-old brother in the family home. Madison and Smithy, Jack's sisters, unable to cope with the notoriety, have moved away. But now Cheryl has contacted a TV producer who plans to put the family on public display, which none of them wants. The author adds depth to this fast-paced thriller by charting the siblings' difficult emotional journeys as they try to reconnect and reconfigure their familial roles, while realizing their battered but still surviving solidarity. (Thriller. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Media Connection Reviews 2009 August/September
Master storyteller Cooney may rival her own The Face on the Milk Carton (Bantam Books, 1990) with her new tale of suspense. The three Fountain children have dealt with the death of their parents in different ways: Jack by protecting their three-year-old little brother, Madison by turning from her family, and Smithy by creating a new life at boarding school. The news media made the deaths of their parents a national dialog. Now their ?aunt? Cheryl wants to sell their continuing story to the media. The use of media and technology in ethical ways are a central theme to the plot. The author gives depth to the characters by alternating points of view, but it?s the use of electronic sources by the characters that really sets this mystery/suspense apart. The story takes place in one day all the while picking up the frantic pace the characters feel as the pieces to their father?s ?accident? reveals his murder. With so much of our lives public on Facebook, YouTube, and group texts, readers will contemplate the invasion of privacy versus the tool that technology can be. Highly Recommended. Melinda Elzinga, Librarian, Boulder (Colorado) Country Day School ¬ 2009 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

PW Reviews 2009 May #1

Readers will be unable to put down Cooney's latest thriller. Jack, 15, lives with his two-year-old brother, Tris, and his aunt, while sisters Smithy and Madison are living elsewhere. Taking place on a single day, the novel switches between the viewpoints of the older family members and a teenage neighbor. Early hints point to Tris being a controversial figure, and it is gradually revealed that he is believed to be the cause of his parents' deaths (their mother delayed chemo to give birth to him). But as the day wears on and the siblings reunite, whether or not Tris inadvertently caused their father's death (the parking brake on his Jeep was released and it rolled over him) comes into question. Additionally, a religious undertone has several characters rethinking their relationship with God. Adding to the family's misery, their aunt has arranged for their lives to become a TV "docudrama," hosted by a man so sleazy he asks Smithy, "What was it like to realize your mother would rather die than bring you up?" Cooney masterfully ratchets up the tension in each scene and delivers fully in the exhilarating conclusion. Ages 12–up. (May)

[Page 51]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

SLJ Reviews 2009 May

Gr 6–9—Three orphaned teenage siblings, separated by the tragic supposed patricide of their father by their two-year-old brother, reunite a year later to save this same brother from the clutches of their evil aunt, who wants to sell them out on a tell-all television show. The plot involves a lot of aimless meandering around their small Connecticut town, the characters are unremarkable, and the title, of course, gives away the mystery, but, as with all of Cooney's novels, the joy is in readers being more clued in than the hapless characters. Thus every chapter, narrated alternately by each sibling, ends with a successful degree of suspense. Contemporary technology—texting, cell phone videos, digital photography, online bank accounts—plays a weighty role; initially the reliance upon them aids each character's unhealthy distance from one another, but by the conclusion, it has become the link between them, creating laughably miraculous resolutions at every turn. A Christian theme pervades as well, as the siblings each question their relationship with God as well as with one another, and inevitably resolve both issues simultaneously. Fans of previous Cooney offerings will enjoy this, but most others can pass on it.—Rhona Campbell, Washington, DC Public Library

[Page 102]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

VOYA Reviews 2009 June
The Fountain children have had it bad for the past two years. Their mother became the focus of media attention when she decided to forego cancer treatment and sacrifice her own life in order to bring her last child to term. Then, at age two, the toddler Tris is involved in a driveway accident that kills his father. The ensuing media circus divides the three older siblings: one moves to a neighbor's home, one lives in a boarding school, and one stays at home to keep an eye on Tris and a suspect relative. A manipulative, uncaring step aunt who has lived in their house since their mom died begins exerting full control over the house, eradicating any evidence of their parents' presence. As their father's birthday comes and goes, all three siblings separately realize the need to reunite and reestablish their family for the sake of young Tris. When the aunt contacts a TV producer to put the family back on public display, the children know they have to nip it in the bud and expel their aunt from their home. Meanwhile evidence that the tragedy in their driveway was not an accident but an act of murder puts them all in danger Cooney's psychological thriller holds the reader's attention as the resourceful youth hatch their plan. The siblings' emotional conflicts are also explored as they cautiously reconnect with one another. Although the conclusion is somewhat unrealistic, the author delivers yet another exciting page turner.—Kevin Beach PLB $19.99. ISBN 978-0-385-90451-3. 4Q 4P M J S Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.


 author biography

Caroline B. Cooney is the author of bestselling novels for young people. She lives in Madison, Connecticut, and New York City.

From the Hardcover edition.

St. Charles City-County Library District
St. Charles County, Missouri