The Truth About Stacey, written by Ann M. Martin, is a book that I found to be an easy read with a bigger than you imagine hidden story and life lesson. On the surface, it is a story of a middle school girl names Stacey and her three friends who set up a babysitting service for people in their community. The story goes through the struggles the girls face when another group of older girls set up a similar service that offers more options because they are much older, such as later nights and availability to drive. The competitors even stoop so low as to send over two girls who claim they want to work with them, but are really just spies trying to sabotage their business.
While this part of the story was fairly interesting in how they went about setting up the business and dealing with unfair competition, the second hidden part of the story is far more interesting and on a deeper level. Stacey has juvenile diabetes and her parents are in denial about the whole thing. Only her close friends know about it and her parents won’t talk about it with anyone. They make it their problem, not hers, and send her to doctor after doctor with the hope of finding a miracle cure for her illness. Stacey knows in her heart that there is not a cure and wants her parents to help her manage the disease instead of trying to fight it off or be uneducated about it.
I thought this was interesting because I learned a lot about diabetes that I did not know. It made me want to research more facts about the disease, especially because my neighbor has just been diagnosed with it. I found her parents frustrating—it seemed obvious to everyone, including Stacey and the reader, that they were not making good decisions about Stacey’s health. She had to ask an older friend of the family to schedule an appointment with a local doctor, who then convinces her parents to face the disease. That part was a bit unrealistic, but in the end it brings everyone together.
Her parents agree to include her in any future decisions about her health and admit how wrong they were to only think about themselves and what other people think. I would recommend this book for a light read or a younger audience who wants two stories in one without being too confusing. I also think it is a good way to spark an interest in finding out more information about diabetes and to learn how kids deal with them. I would not recommend it for someone who wants to read a story with a deep or mysterious plot or complicated characters. It was pretty straightforward and more appropriate for a younger audience.
-Kennedy Smith, 7th Grade