Mom -- To Tell a Lie

The minute I walked into the house, Mom knew something was seriously wrong. I came to the point: I told a lie in school today.

"That must have been very difficult for you. Would you like to tell me about it?" Mom asked.

My class went to the school library, I began, but the books in our section were all picture books and not very interesting. Remember when my favorites were The Reluctant Dragon and Ferdinand the Bull? I continued, eager to talk about something other than the lying part. I still like stories of large and scary creatures. But now, I also want more exciting stories about discovery and science.


I started looking in other parts of the library and found a section of books that had exactly what I wanted, including several Tom Swift adventures. One book about building an airship looked exciting, so I opened it to take a look.

After a few minutes, a librarian appeared out of nowhere and started scolding me. "YOU ARE IN THE WRONG PLACE! Books for your class are over there with your class, not here. You can't read these books. What do you think you're doing?"


I didn't know how to answer that question or stop this lady from yelling at me. I was scared. I didn't know what to do or say. But, this book was the one I wanted, I hadn't done anything wrong, and I didn't want to put it back on the shelf. So I made something up.

My mother reads them to me. I lied. Tom Swift's adventures are my favorites.

The librarian grabbed the book out of my hands and checked it out. Then, she returned the book and scolded me, "Be sure you select a book for yourself from the correct location next time."

I still felt a little scared, even though the yelling had stopped and the librarian had left. Lying about the book didn't feel right at all. It might have been easier to do what the lady said and put Tom Swift back on the shelf. But that didn't feel like the right thing either.

I could tell from Mom's expression that she understood. Explanation finished, I waited, holding Tom Swift in both hands like a battle trophy to see what Mom would say.

"May I see it?" she asked. I handed her the book. She opened it and looked at the first few pages. "A Tom Swift adventure seems like an ideal choice. I can see why you would like it." She motioned for me to sit next to her. She opened the book and began reading:

tom swift

Tom Swift And His Airship

Chapter 1 An Explosion

"Are you all ready, Tom?"

"All ready, Mr. Sharp," replied a young man, who was stationed near some complicated apparatus, while the questioner, a dark man with a nervous manner, leaned over a large tank.

"I'm going to turn on the gas now. I'm not sure what may happen."

"Neither am I, but I'm ready for it. If it does explode, it can't do much damage."

"Oh, I hope it doesn't explode. We've had so much trouble with the airship; I trust nothing goes wrong now."

"Well, turn on the gas, Mr. Sharp," advised Tom Swift. "I'll watch the pressure gauge, and if it goes too high, I'll warn you, and you can shut it off."

"Be ready to jump," advised Mr. Sharp."

Mom paused her reading and said with a slight smile, "I'm feeling a bit tired right now." Then, handing Tom Swift and His Airship back to me, she added, "Would you mind reading the rest of the book yourself?"

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