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Literature / Absolutely Truly

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Absolutely Truly is a Middle School-aged Mystery novel by Heather Vogel Frederick, and the first book in her Pumpkin Falls Mystery series.

Truly Lovejoy is a six-foot-tall twelve-year-old girl and middle child of the Lovejoy family. All her life, Truly has been the new kid in school thanks to her dad's job as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, and has had to deal with being the tallest girl with big feet. When she and her family moved to Texas, however, she thought she would be staying there for good, and was over the moon with joy at the idea because her BFF cousin was there.

Then her father lost his right arm to an explosive in the Middle East.

When he got home, he was a changed man. He gave up his original plans for when he retired from the army, and when his parents decided to retire from running the bookstore in their hometown of Pumpkin Falls, the Lovejoys end up moving there, which Truly is NOT happy about.

However, while working in her family's store, Truly comes across an unsent letter in a copy of Charlotte's Web that leads her on an adventure she never thought she would have in such a small town.

The book was released on November 4th, 2014. It has a sequel, Yours Truly.

Pumpkin Falls contains examples of:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Since she was the middle child of the family, Truly's dad used to call her Truly-In-The-Middle. That changed after his arm got blown off.
  • Alliterative Name: One of Truly's classmates is named Scooter Sanchez.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Truly's father lost his right arm to an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) in the Middle East.
  • Artificial Limb: Truly's dad got a prosthetic limb to replace his right arm. It doesn't get him out of his funk, which isn't helped by the fact that it has a hook instead of a hand.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Pippa is the youngest child of the Lovejoys.
  • Close-Knit Community: Pumpkin Falls. Most of the townsfolk know each other quite well, and they have history with each other.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Belinda Winchester is Pumpkin Falls' resident cat lady. Some cats actually pop out of her clothes at times.
  • Dad the Veteran: Truly's father is a Lieutenant Colonel in the army.
  • Disappeared Dad: Lucas Winthrop's dad died some time ago, motivating his mother to become rather overprotective of him.
  • Disappointed in You: Truly's mother says this to her when she sees Truly failed a math test.note 
  • Family Business: Truly's family has been running Pumpkin Falls' bookstore for generations. According to Truly, they've run it since before The American Revolution.
  • Gossipy Hens: Ella Bellow, Pumpkin Falls' resident postmistress, likes sticking her nose in other peoples' business.
  • Hook Hand: Truly's dad's first prosthetic has this. It tends to scare Pippa. Luckily, her older siblings help her get over it by comparing it to Captain Hook's.
  • How We Got Here: The book begins with Truly hanging upside-down in a church steeple, facing a bell, before rewinding back to the beginning of the story.
  • My Beloved Smother: Lucas' mother, Mrs. Winthrop, who came to school to give him a pair of mittens because she was afraid he'd get cold, even when he already had a pair.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Truly has this opinion of Pumpkin Falls. Then she finds the letter.
  • Secretly Wealthy: Belinda Winchester invested the money she made as a school lunch lady quite well, and now she has a lot of money. Enough to help the Lovejoys pay to keep the bookstore.
  • Sweetie Graffiti: Truly finds a number of these inside the covered bridge on a field trip to the frozen waterfall. Scooter tries to add some mocking Truly and Lucas, but is stopped by the science teacher.
  • Youthful Freckles: Truly and her cousin Mackenzie have these.