Little Red Lies

Publisher: Tundra Books
The war is over, but for thirteen-year-old Rachel, the battle has just begun. Putting childhood behind her, she knows what she wants - to prove she has acting talent worthy of the school drama club, and what she doesn't want - to romantically fall for someone completely inappropriate. Worries about her veteran brother's failing health and repugnance at her mother's unexpected and unwanted pregnancy drive her to seek solace from a seemingly sympathetic, but self-serving teacher. The lies she tells herself hoping to reach solutions to the problems complicating her life merely function to make matters worse. Ultimately, she finds a way to come to terms with life as it reaches an end and life as it begins.


"Filled with bumbling characters who achingly love each other, this coming-of-age tale rises above a crowded field to take readers on a moving journey of discovery." -- Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

"Johnston has crafted a beautifully written, low-key, yet emotional story of a family dealing with the return of a son at the close of war. Jamie is wracked with survivor's guilt.... His letters to Rachel ... are painfully realistic, the antithesis of the glamour that teens too often assign to war...." -- Starred Review, Booklist

"Johnston gives equal weight to struggles major and trivial as she sensitively examines the painful process of rebuilding one's life under the most difficult of circumstances." -- Publishers Weekly

"...a believable, engaging story. The first-person, present-tense narration lends immediacy and Rachel speaks in a convincing adolescent voice.... Libraries will find this sympathetic novel a worthwhile purchase." -- VOYA