Celia Rees

Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare cover


Stockport Book Award Winner
Sheffield Book Award (commended)
Shortlisted for the NASEN, Angus Book Awards

A room of secrets in a house of lies.

Uncle Patrick died young. That’s all Josh knows until he discovers a suitcase filled with the strangest collection of belongings. Why were these things hidden? Why is Patrick’s name never spoken? Why does no one talk about him? Ever. Josh needs answers and gradually uncovers the family secrets that have been hidden all this time. Uncle Patrick was different. He had Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition barely understood now, let alone forty years ago.

This book was published in the US as The Truth Out There by Dorling Kindersley

Celia’s comments

Truth or Dare began on a hot July morning in 1996. I was sitting in a park where I used to play when I was a child. I remembered another very hot summer and my gang, our obsessions, the games we played. I thought about how the world has changed since then, part of our territory was now under a motorway. I thought about what could have happened then, but never did. The past underlies the present and has a very long reach…


‘With computer games and Fifties flashbacks Truth or Dare doesn’t let up. and hits you with a final twist.’ Daily Telegraph

‘Truth or Dare is an unsettling, unputdownable mystery. The novel skillfully evokes late fifties childhood – both the idyllic freedom enjoyed by the well-adjusted child, and the damage suffered by others as a consequence of ignorance about autistic spectrum disorders.’ TES

‘This is a compelling story in which the secrecy and shame of the past are shed to reveal a rather wonderful and utterly contemporary present. It also presents the challenges faced by Asperger’s Syndrome (sufferers) and their families in a sensitive and way.’ The Scotsman

‘In threading the narrative strands together, Rees recounts a terrible human tragedy. This is a compelling examination of the wreckage resulting from a determination to force conformity on an individual.’ Lindsay Fraser, Children’s Book of The Week, The Guardian

‘Celia Rees’s Truth or Dare is a detective story: Josh uncovers the truth about his uncle – and a terrible secret bubbles up through his mother’s own memories. A moving book which puts autism a little more firmly on the map.’ Sarah Johnson, The Times