“Notes from a Liar and Her Dog” by Gennifer Choldenko

08 Jun


Author Gennifer Choldenko is well known for her Newbery Honor book "Al Capone Does My Shirts." "Notes from a Liar and Her Dog," which I'm reviewing here, was her first novel for middle school readers. Antonia ("Ant") MacPherson, a 12 year-old living in a small town in Northern California, narrates her own story. Ant is smart, adventurous, and fiercely loyal to her quirky, artistic best friend Harrison Emerson and her tiny elderly dog Pistachio. Unfortunately, Ant also lies. A lot. Need some examples? She switches the A's of her report card for Harrison's lesser grades. She conveniently rearranges the numbers of her mailing address to avoid paying Pistachio's vet bills. Most damaging? She insists to everyone who'll listen that she's not actually related to the MacPhersons, even keeping a journal and scrapbook for when her "real" parents return to pick her up.

As you might imagine, Ant doesn't get along very well with her parents or her two sisters. They fight constantly, and her mom often comments that she doesn't know what to do with Ant or how to respond to her. As Ant feels more and more alone — and as her father threatens to uproot the family yet again for his job — Ant takes some comfort in volunteering at a local zoo with her art teacher, Just Carol, and Harrison. When things take a turn for the worse and Pistachio ends up in the lion's den (!), Ant, at last, has to figure out a way to tell the truth.

Ant is a funny, endearing character. She'll win you over despite her inability to tell the truth, and you'll be interested to see how she rationalizes all her lies to herself. Towards the end of the story, there are some very touching, emotional scenes between Ant and her mom, when both finally begin to open up about how they feel about each other. This is a great choice for middle school summer reading, as it's a fast read but one that isn't just fluffy or silly. In fact, I have a feeling you'll remember Ant long after you finish her story.


Review #1:
I liked this book. A girl named Ant volunteers to help at the zoo. Her dog runs loose there and has to catch him before the owner finds him.

Review #2:
I liked this book because of the loving bond between the girl and her dog.

1 Comment

Posted by on June 8, 2007 in Uncategorized


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One response to ““Notes from a Liar and Her Dog” by Gennifer Choldenko

  1. Anonymous

    November 3, 2009 at 5:34 am

    review xD

    The book “Note from a liar and her dog” is a very interesting story. I enjoyed this book very much! The main character in this book would be Antonia MacPherson. She is a very interesting character her feelings and actions are really well different from what you would expect. The problem in this story is that she feels her family well isn’t her real family. She thinks she is adopted and believes that her real parents will one day come. So she keeps a book with her and writes letters to her supposed to be real parents and writes that the letter is from Ant and Pistachio which is her nickname and her dog’s name. Antonia really did change a lot. She use to make up lies and try to make some kind of loophole around the situation. She changed because at the beginning she would tell these lies and then later on she learns and well tries to say the truth and that it’s good to say it!
    Antonia is a very weird yet very clever girl. She is very different from her family which makes her believe she is adopted. Her mom use to look like her but then she changed her hair and she got a surgery, so when she was younger she looked a lot like Antonia. I agreed with Antonia when she took her dog to the zoo. I agreed with her because she thought her mom was going to put her dog to sleep. I would do the same thing for my dog if I knew my parents would want to do that to my poor Princess. I would have definitely done a lot of things different for instance Antonia took her dog to the zoo and didn’t tell her teacher which was taking her and ended up loosing Pistachio and found him in the lion’s exhibit.
    Antonia would be so different in a year because at the end of the story she understands the things she’s done bad and has learned that her family can’t be changed. That she is stuck with them and change them not even in her fantasy. In a year her mom and her would still have some problems but only small ones and they would still be living in the same place they wouldn’t move. In five years her mom and her would probably get along. She would also get along with her sisters and well Pistachio will probably be older but still in the family. I’m positive Antonia’s mom wouldn’t put to sleep or give Pistachio away. I really compare myself a lot with Antonia. She is a very closed person. She thinks and plans without thinking. Like she has a plan but doesn’t think it through. She doesn’t show her emotions most of the times which is something I tend to do. I don’t want people to know what how im feeling I don’t want them to know my problems. Antonia is very like me when I was reading this book I understood why she did some weird things and crzy things too. As I was reading gthe author wrote somethings Antonia was thinking like there was this part where she tries to hold down her emotions and she cant helpp her self and she starts to cry. I mean I always try not to cry I don’t want people to know im upset because they are going to think I cry for the littlest thing but sometimes I can’t help myself and the taers just roll down my eyes I really enjoyed this book it was so interesting. Every time you get a book you hope its interesting and yuh hope you could actually feel like your in the story and some books do make you feel that way this book is definitely one of those books. I really do recommend this book to everyone!!


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