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The Porcupine of Truth

By Bill Konigsberg


The author of Openly Straight returns with an epic road trip involving family history, gay history, the girlfriend our hero can't have, the grandfather he never knew, and the Porcupine of Truth.

Start at the hot girl.

Carson Smith isn't thrilled to be spending the summer with his estranged dad in Billings, Montana. But then he meets Aisha Stinson, the most beautiful girl he's ever seen. And the smartest. And the funniest. They connect like he never has with anyone...

Also she's a lesbian. So there's that.

Turn left at the missing grandpa.

Carson's dad is still bitter about the disappearance of his dad more than thirty years earlier. When Carson and Aisha discover a box full of cards from his grandfather, some of them recent, they realize the old man is still out there somewhere.

What are two bored teenagers in the middle of nowhere to do?

Proceed for 1,293 miles.

So Carson and Aisha begin a journey with no destination, to find a man who wanted to be lost, in an unreliable Dodge Neon, with one very prickly mascot. And what comes next is an extraordinary, enlightening, hilarious, inspiring, complete and utter mindblower of a road trip that will transform both their lives.

You have arrived at The Porcupine of Truth.


Reviews and Awards

A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens
A Booklist Editors' Choice 2015
YALSA 2016 Best Fiction for Young Adults
The Rainbow List, 2016
Stonewall Award

⋆ “Konigsberg employs a colorful style (a day is “warm, like bread just out of the oven,” and Carson’s new room is “like a remote bunker where people store their afterthoughts”) and crafts fascinating, multidimensional teen and adult characters. A friendship between a straight boy and a lesbian is relatively rare in YA fiction and is, accordingly, exceedingly welcome.” - Booklist, starred review

⋆ “Konigsberg perfectly depicts the turbulent intensity of a new friendship. Carson is an intensely likable, hilarious, and flawed narrator… Konigsberg weaves together a masterful tale of uncovering the past, finding wisdom, and accepting others as well as oneself.” - School Library Journal, starred review

“Konigsberg eloquently explores matters of family, faith, and sexuality… Bouts of humor leaven the characters’ intense anguish in a story that will leave readers thinking about inherited traits (whether an oddball sense of humor or a tendency to overdrink), the fuzzy lines between youth and adulthood, and the individual nature of faith.” - Publishers Weekly

“The story tackles questions about religion, family, and intimacy with depth and grace… Equal parts funny and profound.” - Kirkus Reviews


Purchase Options
Indiebound • Scholastic Store • Amazon • Barnes & Noble


Summer 2015
Young Adult Fiction
ISBN: 978-0-545-64893-6
Price: $17.99 / $20.99
Trim Size: 5 1/2" x 8 1/4"
Page Count: 336
Foreign Rights: The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
Translation Rights: The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
Rights Available? yes


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