Saturday, November 27, 2010

Home Truths by Jill MacLean

A powerful and necessary read. Highly Recommended. 
* Canadian Author and Content

School is out for the summer and Brick MacAvoy, like any other 15 year old, is looking to make some cash. Most 15 year old boys would be saving up to buy their first car, but Brick is trying to put enough money away so that he can leave his home and family behind.  Why would a 15 year old want to leave home? Well for one, Brick's mother can't even give him the time of day, and she expects him to take care of his four year old sister because she can't be bothered to. Unfortunately, neglect is the least of his worries. Each and every day that Brick wakes up he wonders if this will be the day that Floyd, his dad, decides to whale on him.

Through the experiences of Brick, Jill MacLean shares with the reader the feelings of pain, anger, and revenge that victims of abuse undergo. Most importantly, through the events in the story the reader is able to empathize with Brick and begins to understand the incredible struggles that abuse victims face every day. His struggles aren't just about getting revenge, they go much deeper than that.  Brick's peers consider him as a bully, his dad thinks he is a wimp, his neighbors think of him as a hard worker, and to his sister he is a hero. How can one person be viewed so differently? Is it possible to break free from stereotypes? Learn how Brick discovers answers to these questions, challenges his sense of identity and place in this world, and how he discovers the important role that he plays in stopping the vicious cycle of abuse that affects his entire family. By the end of the book readers will be cheering Brick on from the sidelines.

Although Brick's story is fictitious, it is a reality for far too many young people. According to Unicef's The State of The World Children Report 2009 between 500 million and 1.5 billion children experience violence each year. Many cases of abuse are not reported each year, and just like Brick, many people are afraid to report as it may put them and their loved ones in jeopardy.  Reading this story may empower some of our readers to talk to someone, and may even enlighten those who are quick to judge and label.  

Reviews and Awards 
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Saskatchewan Curriculum Connections 
  • English Language Arts:  Personal and Philosophical Context, Social, Cultural, and Historical Context
  • Social Studies: Power and Authority
  • Health: Develop the understanding, skills, and confidences necessary to take action to improve health.


  1. Hi Tamzen,

    Thank you for introducing a book that may become an opportunity for many students to gain confidence to find a voice for themselves or others. I will add the book to my purchasing order. I look forward to reading more posts. Congrats on a great start to your new adventure.

  2. I agree that this is a powerful book for young readers and old, whether they are familiar with situations like this or not. Brick knows that he is expressing anger when he picks on someone but does not recognize that he is a bully or following in his father's footsteps. I would love to know if this is typical of bullies in real life. I look forward to more reviews to help build my collections.

  3. I agree that this was one of the most powerful books I have read this year. Your blog is off to a great start and I look forward to reading it. Jane

  4. I will include the publication to my buying order. I glance forward to reading through a whole lot more posts
    What can we do when we have many boring free time? How about try to get access to the online games? When we talk about the game, we need to talk about the WOW Gold. As the WOW is the world's most famous online game,all of us knows that we have to get the Cheap RS Gold to save money !

  5. Hi Tamzen,

    Home Truths was one of the 2011 nominees for the Snow Willow Award. Our committee felt it was one of the top ten Canadian Young Adult books of the year!

    Ruth Garnett
    President, SYRCA The Willow Awards