The Truth Commission

The Truth Commission

A Novel

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Open secrets are the heart of gossip--the things that no one is brave or clueless enough to ask. That is, except for Normandy Pale and her friends Dusk and Neil. They are juniors at Green Pastures Academy of Art and Applied Design, and they have no fear.

They are the Truth Commission.

But Normandy's passion for uncovering the truth is not entirely heartfelt. The truth can be dangerous, especially when it involves her sister, Keira, her brilliant older sister, the creator of a best-selling graphic novel series, who has left college and come home under mysterious circumstances, and in complete silence.

Even for a Truth Commissioner, there are some lines that cannot be crossed ...

This dryly funny, knife-sharp novel, written as "narrative nonfiction" by Normandy herself, features footnotes, illustrations and a combination mystery/love story that will capture readers from the first page.

Publisher: Toronto : Razorbill, ©2015.
ISBN: 9780670067596
Characteristics: 309 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Cooper, Trevor 1949-- Illustrator


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Quote
Dec 15, 2015

There are truths found in books or films when some writer puts exactly the right words together and it’s like their pen turned sword and pierced you right through the heart.

Dec 15, 2015

“Our families are often the thing that keep us stuck,” said Dusk. “If I bought into my family’s agenda, I would –“
“Be getting better than a C in biology right now,” I said.
“C-minus,” Dusk corrected.

Dec 15, 2015

. . . I feel it’s important to point out that lying is not the same as not telling the truth. Leaving things unsaid is part of being a civilized person, at least according to me.

Dec 15, 2015

The thought was laughable. Or maybe it was cryable.


Add a Comment
SPL_Childrens Jun 23, 2016

A review of this book, published in the Stratford Gazette in May 2016, can be found in the "Summary" section.

Dec 15, 2015

I liked reading about narrator Normandy and her high school friends a lot more than I did the storyline about her older sister, talented, narcissistic college drop out Keira. I didn't understand the outrage over Keira's nasty depictions of her family in her graphic novels, which were works of fiction, instead of at her actual behaviour, which was disturbing to say the least. The balance between humour and seriousness, and the ending, didn't work for me. That said, I would read another book about Norm and her friends.

Jun 21, 2015

I won this book from the Susan and Susin contest, and, tbh, I wasn't expecting much. However, when I started reading, I fell more and more in love with the characters and the story. They are all so real, especially the protagonist, Normandy. I love an imperfect main character. Gave me a bunch of laughs and tears. Definitely recommend!


Add a Summary
SPL_Childrens Jun 23, 2016

The title of Susan Juby’s new book may sound like a report from a government inquiry, but The Truth Commission is actually a hilarious story which can be briefly summarized by its subtitle: “Or, How Three Intrepid Art Students Got to the Bottom of One Unexpectedly Dark Secret”.
Told from the point of view of student Normandy Pale in a series of journal entries, the book is an account of the Truth Commission, formed by Normandy and two friends, Neil and Dusk. Its purpose? The Commission is intended to uncover secrets within their school, an art college, through “direct dialogue” instead of rumors, destructive gossip and unfounded assumptions.
As one can imagine, some unexpected (and laughable) secrets and “truths” are uncovered through these best intentions.
In contrast, Normandy’s family life is a struggle right now, involving a troublesome older sister who has recently published a graphic novel that falsely portrays her own family – including Normandy – in very unflattering ways. It’s an embarrassing situation, a reason why Normandy comes up with the idea of a “truth commission” at her school.
With its witty dialogue, wry humor, realistic characters and a thoroughly unanticipated conclusion, this is an original, thoughtful novel which explores some interesting “truths about truth.” Sometimes the truth can set you free; sometimes it can confine you. Some truths are best kept private, and some should not be kept secret … but as a teen, how do you know the difference between the two?
The Truth Commission is a well-deserved nominee for the Ontario Forest of Reading’s 2016 Red Maple Award. (Red Maple titles are generally intended for students in grades 7 and 8.)
** Recommended for ages 12 to 14 years.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at LPL

To Top