Brandon Brown sagt die Wahrheit

Book Title Brandon Brown sagt die Wahrheit (Brandon Brown Tells the Truth)
Author(s) Carol Gaab
Illustrator(s) Robert Matsudaira
Other Contributors Julie Young (translation and adaptation from Spanish), Brigitte Kahn (editing)
Published by Fluency Matters
Genre Comedy
Publication date 2018
#Ownvoices N/A
From the author/publisher’s website
Level 1 and up
Novice Low-Novice High

Total Word Count
Unique Word Count: 185
Illustrations                    YES 
Glossary                          YES  
Guiding Questions       NO  
Context                            NO  
Races, Ethnicities, and Nationalities
Darker-skinned (unspecified racialized identity)

Languages spoken

Sex and Genders

Child: 0-6
Child: 6-12
Young Adult: 18-35

Social classes
Middle Class
Sexual Orientation
none disclosed

(Dis)Abilities and Neurotypes
none disclosed

Religions, Syncretism, and Spirituality
none referenced

Family and Relationship Structures
Brother and sister

Body Descriptions
Straight size
From the author/publisher’s website 

Rather than get caught in the act of disobeying his mother, Brandon decides to lie about his dishonest actions. He quickly discovers that not telling the truth can create big problems and a lot of stress! Will he win in the end, or will he decide that honesty is the best policy?
To what extent do the illustrations present positive and thoughtful representations of identities?

The characters are represented in the book with cartoon-like drawings that reflect the plot of the story.  All characters are represented with white skin, except for Katie’s friend Laura (p. 57), who is darker-skinned.  The text does not mention Laura’s skin color.
We understand identities are complex and no single story represents the spectrum of identity-based experiences. Also, a text may address a stereotype, misrepresentation, or generalization without relying on it.

Does any stereotype, misrepresentation, or generalization affect any positive and thoughtful representations of identities in the text?
This section is for teachers who are working towards sourcing more texts within the four domains of anti-bias education. We are excited about reading all books and we understand that not all books are written for this specific purpose. 

Does this text work toward goals within any of the four domains of anti-bias education as defined by Learning for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance)
Brandon Brown sagt die Wahrheit is a reader aimed at Novice learners that tells the story of the titular character struggling with whether or not he wants to be honest. He finds himself in increasingly tense predicaments with his family, as he is unable to maintain his lies and ultimately must confess to his misdeeds.

This book invites readers to think about what it means to actually tell the truth to people you care about.  Brandon gets in trouble early in the story for taking candy from his sister, and his mother reminds him that not telling the whole truth of a situation can also be a form of lying (p. 23).  Brandon’s father also tells him the fable of the Boy Who Cried Wolf (pp. 30-34) to remind him of the importance of being honest and the consequences of building a reputation for lying: people may no longer believe you.  Indeed, Brandon repeatedly tells himself (while still sometimes lying), “Die Wahrheit nicht zu sagen, macht viele Probleme! / Not telling the truth causes a lot of problems!” (p. 73)

Brandon’s actions seem to have consequences for his familial relationships, and the book may prompt readers to consider how their own actions affect others around them.  Brandon’s parents are clearly annoyed when Brandon doesn’t listen to their instructions and guidance (pp. 3, 23, 29). Brandon’s father makes an attempt to instruct Brandon using a relevant story, though Brandon ultimately is not listening closely enough to notice that his father sometimes inserts Brandon’s name into the story instead of the fictional protagonist (p. 35).  Brandon’s sister calls him “a dishonest person” (p. 24) and has to relocate while she is hanging out with her friend Laura because of Brandon’s pestering to use the television (pp. 58-59).  Brandon could change his actions towards his family members, but only seems to do so when he is certain there will be consequences (p. 80).

Teachers may wish to discuss with students what exactly it means to tell the truth, or to lie, and by the diversity of student responses, illustrate the cultural relativity of notions of truthfulness.

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