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Tru & Nelle: A Christmas Tale
Contributor(s): Neri, G.
ISBN: 1328685985     ISBN-13: 9781328685988
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    OUR PRICE: $15.30  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: October 2017
Annotation: Two years after choosing his mother in a Christmas-season custody hearing, Truman Capote runs away to spend Christmas in Monroeville, Alabama, with best friend, Nelle Harper Lee, who gives him courage to stay true to himself.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Friendship; Fiction.
Christmas; Fiction.
Trials; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Friendship
- Juvenile Fiction | Holidays & Celebrations | Christmas & Advent
- Juvenile Fiction | Historical | United States
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2017002392
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.75" H x 5.75" W x 1.25" (0.90 lbs) 291 pages
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q70974
Reading Level: 4.2   Interest Level: Grades 3-5   Point Value: 15.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2016 Fall)
Truman, an eccentric Little Lord Fauntleroy aspirant, and Nelle, a feisty girl, strike up an unlikely and unshakable friendship in Depression-era Monroeville, Alabama. Set against the backdrop of the early-twentieth-century South, this fictional account of the childhood bond between Harper Lee and Truman Capote will entertain readers on its own merits, but it also serves as a love letter to two cultural icons. Copyright 2016 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Spring)
This sequel covers three Christmases in the lives of childhood friends Truman Capote and Nelle Harper Lee; most of the novel takes place in 1937 Monroeville, Alabama, after Tru runs away from military school. Although the pairs coming-of-age as writers is affecting, the hodgepodge plot--loosely based on actual events and Capote short stories and incorporating a murder trial, fire, lynching, and fruitcake--results in a disjointed whole. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2016 #3)
ith Tru's parents seeming to prefer life without him and Nelle receiving constant criticism from her sisters, the duo finds thrilling distraction and guileless acceptance in each other as they endure trouble with bullies and cantankerous cousins and as they encounter the overt racism around them (including run-ins with the Ku Klux Klan). Set against the backdrop of the early-twentieth-century South, this fictional account of the childhood bond between Harper Lee and Truman Capote will entertain readers on its own merits, but it also serves as a love letter to two cultural icons; fans are bound to recognize the seeds of Scout, Dill, and their Maycomb adventures in this story's pages. Neri's homage envisions a deep, rewarding relationship between two children before the literary world knew their names. An author's note provides further biographical information. anastasia m. collins

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2015 December #2)

Tru is a newcomer in Monroeville, Ala., and his city ways and fey affectations don't help the seven-year-old fit in. Nelle has lived in the small Southern town her whole life, but her tomboy tendencies make her a kind of outsider, too. Neighbors and fast friends, they look for a mystery to solve, and a break-in at the town pharmacy offers them their chance. Nelle and Tru are inspired by Harper Lee and Truman Capote; Neri (Hello, I'm Johnny Cash) evokes their friendship and fortitude with brio, but the constraints of real life and Lee's prior fictionalization of it in To Kill a Mockingbird seem to limit his freedom to invent. Nelle's father is wise and heroic, and Nelle and Tru are essentially free of racial prejudice; 50-plus years on, this, along with the portrayal of the Klan as equal parts buffoonish and scary, feels naïve, even considering the age group Neri is targeting. Still, readers already familiar with To Kill a Mockingbird should appreciate this fictional detour into the world of a young Harper Lee. Ages 7–10. Agent: Edward Necarsulmer IV, Dunow, Carlsen & Lerner Literary Agency. (Mar.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2015 October)

Gr 4–7—Middle grade readers—even those not yet familiar with the names Truman Capote or Harper Lee—will be delighted with this romp through 1930s Monroeville, AL. Neri has pulled real events from the lives of Tru and Nelle and has woven them into a fictional work that takes readers through the pair's first meeting, their efforts in solving a small-town mystery, and their face-to-face encounter with the Ku Klux Klan. Tru's parents leave him with distant cousins when he is seven years old. It is then that he meets a young Nelle, who lives next door. Both children have difficulty fitting in with their peers and become fast friends. They both have a keen sense of drama and a need to find adventure, even in their sleepy little town. They soon find themselves in one predicament after another, caught up in a local mystery that lands them in some real trouble. This story is heartwarming, funny, and beautifully crafted; readers will be sucked in from the very first chapter. VERDICT A charming addition to fiction collections, especially where readers enjoy historical fiction with a large dose of mystery, adventure, and heart.—Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Jefferson, LA

[Page 93]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 October)

Gr 4–7—As in Neri's first book about the real-life Truman Capote and Harper Lee, middle grade readers will laugh, cry, and be surprised by the many unlikely situations these preteens seem to find for themselves and their families. Neri uses real events from the Christmas seasons of 1935, 1937, and 1956 to weave his tales. In 1935, Tru is given the choice to stay in Monroeville, AL, or return to New York with his mother. Two years after choosing the latter, Tru finds himself running away from military school to return to his relatives in Monroeville, only to find their house in flames. Tru and his friends have a run-in with a bully over a Christmas tree and watch a murder trial unfold that could end in a lynching by the Ku Klux Klan. They ultimately celebrate the holidays in jail with the men convicted of murder. By 1957, Truman and Nelle, now adults, are both living in New York City. With the Great Depression as a backdrop, this title will be most enjoyed by readers of historical fiction. VERDICT A definite purchase for fans of the first book.—Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Avondale, LA

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.