Children's Literature - Donna Freedman
This frequently hilarious fantasy-adventure has a serious underpinning: that "truth" is a situational ethic. Sixth-grader and compulsive liar Charlie Eggleston obtains a human skull that dooms its owners to compulsive truthfulness. Amusingly, the skull is a compulsive chatterbox fond of terrible jokes. Readers will laugh at Charlie's new inability to squirm out of homework or family dinners, but Coville takes a serious turn when a classmate returns from cancer treatment and Charlie says exactly what he thinks - something that is on everyone's mind, but that no one will admit. The ambitious author also provides a nice dollop of Shakespeare - the skull, alas, is Yorick's own.
While this is certainly better than the Monster's Ring, this particular book didn't have quite the same appeal to me as Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher. Cameos of characters from previous Magic Shop books were pretty cool, it seemed like Mr. Coville was trying to hit too many points and morals at once - enviromental danger! cancer! homosexuals! - and seemed very rushed at times.
Great Addition to the series.