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Lions and Liars: 08/02/19

Lions and Liars

Lions and Liars by Kate Beasley with illustrations by Dan Santat is about a case of mistaken identity taken to extremes. Frederick believes he is at the bottom of the pecking order in school. He is the "flea on the meerkat's butt." But now it's summer vacation but the family cruise is canceled because of a hurricane.

Rather than the cruise he has been looking forward to, he's at Joey's birthday party. He's even at the bottom there and he ends up floating down the river in a rowboat with now motor and no paddles (they were lost to the alligators).

Before Frederick knows it, he's washed ashore at a boot camp for bad boys. He's mistaken for a boy who is late to camp, Dash, and ends up taking over his identity and spot in the camp. Dash comes with quite the reputation. He's a regular lion and that reputation gives Fred a chance to come out of 6his shell.

While Fred is staying at the camp, he comes to learn that most of the other boys aren't who they seem either. They are identity stealers like he is, but most of them are misunderstood and are burdened by undeserved reputations. Knowing this helps him rethink his pecking order idea and to gain some well needed confidence.

This novel is also on the road narrative spectrum: 669966. Fred and the other boys in his group are marginalized travelers (66). They are at the camp against their will, even if it isn't that bad of a camp. Their journey at camp and later to escape the hurricane is through the wildlands (99) that surround the camp. The majority of this book takes place along a Florida swamp in a very remote place. Their route of travel is offroad (66). First there is Fred's river arrival. Later there are many scenes of going off trail in the swamp. Put all together, Lions and Liars is the tale of marginalized travelers going offroad through the swamp while at the camp and later to escape the hurricane.

Five stars

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