Title: McBroom Tells a LieMcBroom-Tells-a-Lie
Author: Sid Fleischman
Pages: 48
Reading Level: 7-10
Star Rating: ★★

Remember Here Comes McBroom!? Well, McBroom Tells a Lie is about the same character.

The Story.

Old Heck Jones is up to something. Yes, sirree! Course, Heck is always up to something, ‘cuz he’s the foxy-eyedest neighbor anyone ever saw. He’s tryin’ to trick McBroom into giving up his rich one-acre farm, but McBroom’s not gonna do it. Not if he has any say in the matter.

But then McBroom’s kids, Willjillhesterchesterpeterpollytimtommary-larryandlittleclarinda, get into trouble with Heck. The only way Heck provides for the McBrooms to clear themselves of criminal charges is outrageous – impossible. But then, it won’t be the first impossible thing the McBrooms have ever done…

Can the McBrooms grow a crop that will satisfy even the greedy Heck Jones?

Discussion.

As with Here Comes McBroom!, McBroom tells a Lie is tall tale through and through. None of it could have happened. The descriptions are outrageously hilarious – and also very foolish. I will say for Mr. Fleischman that he tells a remarkably unique story and that although many incidents were ridiculous, none of them felt forced or cheesy. When bragging about the growing powers of his farm, McBroom says,

Why, just last month Little Clarinda dropped her silver baby fork and by time we found it the thing had grown into a silver pitchfork.” [pg. 8]

:) Here’s another tall tale-ism.

We got home for a big breakfast and just in time. That prairie dust storm rolled in and stayed for weeks on end. My, it was thick, that dust. Before long our dog was chasing rabbits up their burrows. The rodents had dug their holes in the air. [pg. 46]

There are other outrageous moments – like how the McBrooms use whole herd of lightning bugs to grow a crop of tomatoes. They also use frozen chunks of sunlight (the last cold spell came on so quickly that it froze the sunshine to the ground) to run the stove on. The following section, while not the most outrageous, tickled my fancy.

“Pa – come quick, but stand back!” my dear wife Melissa exclaimed.

I hopped to the stove as she broke another fresh egg into a skillet. Why, soon as it was fried on one side that egg jumped up in the air. It flipped over and landed on the other side to fry.

“Well, don’t that beat all,” I said. “The hens must have been eating your Mexican jumping beans. Yup, and they’re laying eggs that flip themselves. An amazing invention my lambs!” [pg. 21]

‘Tarnation’ is used twice and ‘by thunder’ once. One of the main characters is named Heck Jones and so, of course, his name is used throughout the course of the story.

Conclusion. Not defiling, but not edifying. It is very funny, but also will encourage your children in foolishness.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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