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A funny and big-hearted story about a kid trying to find the best way to be his best self.

Elliott has been struggling since his closest friend moved away, and he's not too sure where he fits into his own family, especially since his newly remarried dad and stepmom are expecting a baby. His grades aren't too great, he's always forgetting things, and he doesn't really like sports. All together, the result is someone the complete opposite of his dad--a fact they're both very aware of. Elliott's only solace is cooking, where he can control the outcome, testing exciting recipes and watching his favorite cooking shows.

When he's paired with the super smart and popular Maribel for a school-wide project, Elliott worries they won't see eye to eye. But Maribel is also looking for a new way to show others her true self and this project could be the chance they've both been waiting for. Sometimes the least likely friends help you see a new side to things . . . and sometimes you have to make a few mistakes before you figure out what's right. 

Age range: 8-13

Grade level: 3-8

Hardcover: 288 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books

ISBN-10: 1547606258

ISBN-13: 978-1547606252

Art by Mirelle Ortega, design by Jeanette Levy

2023 Schneider Family Book Award Honor Book

AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Junior Library Guild selection

Common Sense Media Common Sense Selection

Washington Post Kids Summer Book Club selection

Librarian Favorites Award, Children's Book Council

Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award List


Georgia State Book Award Nominee, 2024
Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl 2023-2024

Maryland BlackEyed Susan Award List

Vermont Golden Dome Book Award List

Delaware Diamond Award List

Michigan MISelf in Books List, Middle School

Michigan MISelf in Books List, Upper Elementary


South Carolina Children's Book Award List

Junior Tome Book Award 

Amazon Teachers' Pick

Kirkus, starred review

★ Publishers Weekly, starred review

Booklist, starred review

School Library Journal, starred review

Starring a sweet and messy kid tackling problems that will bring laughter and tears, Honestly Elliott has all the ingredients for a memorable story. 
--Lynne Kelly, author of Song for a Whale

McDunn is a master at creating characters that are fun, flawed, and above all, real. Full of humor and heart, Honestly Elliott is honestly and truly middle-grade at its best. 
--Jess Redman, author of The Miraculous and The Adventure Is Now

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