Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

From the book:

Check it out.
The school bell rang.
This wasn't a bad thing. It rang every day. But today it rang from half a block away. I was late.
By the time I got to school, everyone else was pledging allegiance. I pledged along with them while I ran down the hall.It sounded more like huffing and puffing and gasping and wheezing. But it was really pledging.
I caught up to Jerry Paradise just outside our third-grade classroom.
He sneered at me. "Boy, Zoe. Are you ever in trouble!"
"Me?" I said. "You're as late as I am!"
When Jerry has something on you, he goes ballistic. He bounces up and down, and his voice gets high-pitched, like a bird's.
"I've got an excuse!" chirped Jerry. "I've got a note! Mrs. Moore! Mrs. Moore!"
I followed him into class. He pushed the paper right up to Mrs. Moore's face.
"My dad just left on a business trip to Japan," he announced. "So I got to go to the airport to say good-bye."
Our teacher read the note. "What an exciting trip," she told Jerry.
The she turned to me. "And how about you, Zoe? Why weren't you in class when the bell rang?"
I frowned. It's pretty easy to tell the truth when your dad takes airplane trips to amazing far-away places.
"Check it out," I began. "I was on the bus --"
"You walk to school!" squawked Jerry.
"I was walking to school," I restarted, "and I met this really famous movie star."
"Oh wow!" cried Brittany Sanders. "Which one?"
Oops. Brittany knew about all the actors, and their clothes designers, and what kind of cars they drove. Her mom used to be a fashion model. I had to be careful.
"He made me promise not to say," I replied in a low voice. "If too many people find out there's a movie star in our town, he'll get mobbed."
"Liar, liar, pants on fire!" called Jerry.

Copyright © 1997 by Gordon Korman. Used by permission.

Everything exciting seems to happen to the other students in Zoe's class, and its enough to make her see red. But when she starts making up stories to compete with the other students, everybody just calls her a liar, and she ends up getting in all kinds of trouble.

What Zoe decides she needs is proof. So when the class is discussing Eagles, and Zoe mentions that one is nesting in her backyard, when her story is met with more cries of Liar, Liar, she decides to prove it … even if it means creating an eagle's nest.

But what is Zoe to do when her proof falls through, as well, and she finds nobody in her class willing to believe a word she says? Can Zoe find a way to regain their trust? Can she find enough worth within herself to deserve it?

This is Gordon's first illustrated book for very young readers, and its an enjoyable, if short, little title, filled with his usual eccentric characters.