• US Edition

Looking for True

When two unlikely friends bond over shared compassion for a bereft but lovable dog, they learn what it truly means to find a sense of belonging and identity.

Eleven-year-olds Gladys and Jude live in the same small rust belt town, and go to the same school, but they are definitely not friends. Gladys is a tiny, eccentric, walking dictionary who doesn’t hesitate to express herself, while Jude likes to keep his thoughts and feelings to himself. But they both agree that a new dog in the neighborhood is being mistreated by its owner.

Gladys would like to do something to help, while Jude is more resigned to the situation— until the dog (who Gladys has named True Blue) disappears. They hatch a plan to find her, and once they do, realize they have a problem: Gladys’s father is allergic and Jude’s mother hates dogs. There is no way they can bring her home.

They hide True Blue in an abandoned house on the edge of town, but as their ties to the dog—and to one another—deepen, so does the impossibility of keeping such a big secret. Yet giving True up will break all three of their hearts.

Told in alternating voices set in a small, rust-belt town, Looking for True is a story about family, identity, and finding friends in unexpected places.


Awards and Praise for Looking for True:
A Horn Book Fanfare Title

★ “The writing is fresh, sharp, and authentic. . . . It’s Because of Winn-Dixie for a new generation.”The Horn BookSTARRED REVIEW

“A heartfelt contemporary novel about unexpected friendship that kicks off with a Because of Winn-Dixie–tinged bond. . . . Springstubb gracefully conveys their need for both connection and independence, portraying sweet, protective relationships that each has with young children. Alternating third-person perspectives render unique characterizations.”Publishers Weekly

“A bighearted novel. . . .”Kirkus Reviews

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The Author

Tricia Springstubb

Tricia’s (she/her) books have received numerous starred reviews, appeared on many best-of-the-year and state-book lists, and received recognition from the Junior Library Guild, the Parents Choice Awards, and the American Library Association Notable Books committee. She is a two-time recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Award for Individual Excellence.

Tricia, who has worked as both an educator and a public library children’s associate, loves visiting schools and libraries. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and leads writing workshops for children and adults.

Mother of three grown daughters and four perfect grandbabies, she lives, works, plays and gardens in Cleveland, Ohio.


Tricia is represented by Kristin Ostby.

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