Summary: As punishment for disobeying her detective father on several occasions, Sarah Martin must write a report about her experiences for him to read. Determined to prove to her father that all of her decisions were justified, Sarah throws herself into the telling of her story, from her initial lies about going to neighbour’s farm she was forbidden to go to, all the way up to her part in taking down a poaching scheme. Writing out her tale allows her to reflect on her decisions, but also inspires her to pick a career path, much to the dismay of her father.
Number of Pages: 220
Age Range: 13-14
Review: Sarah Martin is truly a fun character. I loved her spunky nature and strong voice as well as the natural sibling tension she has with her brother, Roy. Sarah is so confident about her choices and indignant when she thinks other people will disagree with them. I just loved reading from her point of view, and I found myself laughing out loud while I read The Whole, Entire, Complete Truth a lot.
When her brother Roy takes over the narrative to make himself look better, the story becomes even more hilarious. Roy and Sarah have a great sibling relationship because Sarah feels Roy is a schmuck who is only out to embarrass her and Roy, ever the older brother, insists she does it to herself.
Though the main story is about Sarah and her friend Mindi discovering a bear poaching set-up, I found it to be a lighter read for younger teens because it is essentially a discussion between Sarah and her father as she tries to explain her actions to him. Her father is also a great character because while he has a gruff nature, it is still obvious that he loves his children and would do anything for them.
The first book in the Sarah Martin mystery series, The Whole, Entire, Complete Truth details the birth of a young detective in the case that started it all.
“Wouldn’t you know it? Cori the grouch-queen undergoes yet another magical transformation at the sight of the opposite sex. Bitter, unattractive frowns instantaneously disappear, to be replaced by wide, toothy smiles. Not only is she a fake, she’s a flirt. A regular Dr. Jekyll and Miss Hyde.” – Sarah from The Whole, Entire, Complete Truth by Caroline Rennie Pattison, page 92
“Also, I’m getting really tired of all the written abuse I’ve been taking in this report. You know that I’m not the schmuck that Sarah keeps making me out to be, don’t you? I don’t care what she says, I don’t constantly embarrass her in front of other people – she does that to herself – and I don’t always act like a goof. In fact, I’m very responsible, and I wanted you to read that for once. You know, the truth.” – Roy from The Whole, Entire, Complete Truth by Caroline Rennie Pattison, page 145
“You know the saying that just before you die you see your life flash before your eyes? Well, I was watching the big-screen 3-D IMAX edition for the eighth time just as Ginger hurtled down my driveway. I was never so happy to sit back and yell, ‘Whoa!’ in my life.” – Sarah from The Whole, Entire, Complete Truth by Caroline Rennie Pattison, page 180
“I had to get Ginger to slow down. She was puffing like a crazed beast. As for me, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to hold on much longer. Problem was, I didn’t know how to get her to stop; I’d never gone that fast before. I tried to remember what Mindi had told me to do if a horse bolts, but it isn’t easy to think when you’re on the back of a wild, raging monster trying with all your might not to fly off a wet, slippery saddle while being blinded by rain. And to think I once thought of Ginger as a calm, gentle horse!” – Sarah from The Whole, Entire, Complete Truth by Caroline Rennie Pattison, page 187
The Whole, Entire, Complete Truth by Caroline Rennie Pattison is published by Dundurn Press (2006).