Best Liars in Riverview

best liars in riverview

In the woods of a small Kentucky town, Aubrey sets off on a journey about growing up, self-discovery, and acceptance while searching for their missing best friend—perfect for fans of King and the Dragonflies and Three Times Lucky.

Aubrey and Joel are like two tomato vines that grew along the same crooked fence—weird, yet the same kind of weird. But lately, even their shared weirdness seems weird. Then Joel disappears. Vanishes. Poof. The whole town is looking for him, and Aubrey was the last person to see Joel. Aubrey can’t say much, but since lies of omission are still lies, here’s what they know for sure:

  • For the last two weeks of the school year, when sixth grade became too much, Aubrey and Joel have been building a raft in the woods.
  • The raft was supposed to be just another part of their running away game.
  • The raft is gone now, too.

Aubrey doesn’t know where Joel is, but they might know how to find him. As Aubrey, their friend Mari, and sister Teagan search along the river, Aubrey has to fess up to who they really are, all the things they never said, and the word that bully Rudy Thomas used that set all this into motion. ---from the publisher

336 pages                                    978-0316276726                                     Ages 8-12

Keywords:  mystery, missing person, friends, friendship, bullies, bullying, acceptance, finding yourself, prejudice, accepting others, 8 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, power of words, LGBTQ, If You Liked King of Dragonflies, transgender, gay


Middle school can be hard - we all have that figured out by now - and it's easier and it's survivable when you have a best friend that "gets" you and likes to do what you like to do.  Joel and Aubrey are lucky that way. The two of them don't really fit into their middle school but when they step out of that world and fun to the woods, they find a world they've created together and that's where they live..really live.  It's a world of nature field guides and trail markers and learning the names of trees and plants and it's a world where the two of them can create adventures and fun using their two imaginations.

So, when Joel disappears one night, it's Aubrey that his mother asks, "Do you know where he is?"  It's Aubrey who decides she probably knows where to find him.  It's Aubrey who has gone through all the ugly moments at school when adults and other kids rejected Joel, humiliated Joel, called Joel names.  It's Aubrey who didn't stand up for him. It's Aubrey who didn't have the words. she is going to take action.  She, Mari her friend, and Teagan her sister, head off into the woods with backpacks of water and energy bars and start the search - following a path Aubrey is sure will lead them to her best friend.

Sometimes life takes you off your regular path to give you a nudge - a  big nudge.  Sometimes life wants you to let go of your secrets and begin giving yourself room to be yourself.  Aubrey and Mari are about to follow paths through the woods but they are going to travel some unseen paths too...and those paths are leading the way to .... well......leading to it's about time.

Recommended by:  Barb  Langridge,

User reviews

Have you read this book? We'd love to hear what you think. Click the button below to write your own review!