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Tru & Nelle: 07/21/17

Tru & Nelle  by G. Neri

Tru & Nelle by G. Neri is a fictionalization of the earliest days of the friendship between Truman Capote and Harper Lee. The book contains photographs of the two and a brief description of their lives and careers.

But —

It's still a strange book. Really it's more of a collection of short stories about their misadventures. The chapters switch off with who gets to the be lead of the story.

But at no point do we really get to know either of the people. Tru is described as a mini version of his later persona. Nelle is a tomboy who acts like a mini version of Scout.

But —

This is a book for upper elementary aged readers. Sure, these kids will most likely read To Kill a Mockingbird and In Cold Blood or maybe Breakfast at Tiffany's in high school.

Children certainly should be introduced to the life and times of famous people, including writers. This fictionalized account though works on the assumption that the reader knows who these people were. I sincerely doubt that the average target aged reader here will.

In that regard, the book would have worked better if it had been completely fictional with an afterword for the curious explaining who inspired these characters. It may have also given more room to flesh out the characters so that they don't seem like rigid carbon copies of themselves and their characters.

There is a second book coming out this November: Tru & Nelle: A Christmas Tale.

Two stars

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