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2008 National Book Award Winner,
Young People's Literature

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Judy Blundell
What I Saw and How I Lied

Judy Blundell's 2008 National Book Award Ceremony Acceptance Speech
from National Book Foundation on Vimeo.

Judy Blundell reading at the 2008 National Book Award Finalists Reading from National Book Foundation on Vimeo.

Photo © Paul Llewellyn.

A soldier with a hidden past, a mysterious death at an empty hotel, a femme fatale manipulating a man for her own purposes—this novel has all the hallmarks of a classic noir, but Judy Blundell shifts these tropes into the equally elusive and shady realm of adolescence. A young girl moves from innocence to desire, from prejudice to justice and from the tumultuous bonds of family into a sad, enduring wisdom.


Judy Blundell has written books for middle grade, young adult, and adult readers under several pseudonyms. Under the pen name Jude Watson, she is the author of several New York Times bestselling and award winning series and media tie-in novels. Her novel, Premonitions, was an ALA Reluctant Readers Best Picks and was chosen by the New York Public Library as a 2004 Best Books for the Teen Age. Among her forthcoming projects is Book #4 in the New York Times bestselling series, The 39 Clues. Judy Blundell lives in Katonah, New York, with her husband and daughter.

ABOUT THE BOOK (from the publisher)

When Evie's father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than just good war stories. When movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served in Joe's company in postwar Austria, shows up, Evie is suddenly caught in a complicated web of lies that she only slowly recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter, ignoring the secrets that surround him . . . until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and breaks her life in two. As she begins to realize that almost everything she believed to be a truth was really a lie, Evie must get to the heart of the deceptions and choose between her loyalty to her parents and her feelings for the man she loves. Someone will have to be betrayed. The question is . . . who? Suggested Links


December 3
Teen Author Reading Night
6-7:30 p.m.
Jefferson Market Branch of NYPL
425 6th Ave, at 10th St.

Featuring: Judy Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied
Coe Booth, Kendra
Daniel Ehrenhaft, Dirty Laundry
Caroline Hickey, Isabelle’s Boyfriend
Margo Rabb, Cures for Heartbreak
David Van Etten, All That Glitters


The match snapped, then sizzled, and I woke up fast. I heard my mother inhale as she took a long pull on a cigarette. Her lips stuck on the filter, so I knew she was still wearing lipstick. She’d been up all night.

She lay on the bed next to me. I felt her fingers on my hair and I kept sleep-breathing. I risked a look under my eyelashes.

She was in her pink nightgown, ankles crossed, head flung back against the pillows. Arm in the air, elbow bent, cigarette glowing in her fingers. Tanned legs glistening in the darkness. Blond hair tumbling past her shoulders.

I breathed in smoke and My Sin perfume. It was her smell. It filled the air. I didn’t move, but I could tell she knew I was awake. I kept on pretending to be asleep. She pretended not to know.

I breathed in and out, perfume and smoke, perfume and smoke, and we lay like that for a long time until I heard the seagulls crying, sadder than a funeral, and I knew it was almost morning.

We never went to the hotel dining room now. They knew who we were; they’d seen our pictures in the paper. We knew they’d be saying, Look at them eating toast -- how can they be so heartless?

I rode a bike down to the beach instead. In the basket I had a bottle of cream soda and two Baby Ruths. Breakfast.

The sky was full of stacked gray clouds and the air tasted like a nickel. The sun hadn’t had time to bake the wetness from the sand. I had the place to myself. Me and the fishermen. Peter and I had watched them surfcasting together. One day, one of them had brought him home.

When Alice fell down the rabbit hole, she fell slow. She had time to notice things on her way down -- Oh, there’s a teacup! There’s a table! So things seemed almost normal to her while she was falling. Then she bumped down and rolled into Wonderland, and all hell broke loose.


What I Saw and How I Lied is currently available at your local library or for sale through most major retailers, including:

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