The Truth Pops Out
The Truth Pops Out Cover
Author *Marc Brown (cover credit)
Illustrator *Marc Brown (cover credit)
Publication date 2001
Published by Advance Publishers, L.C.
ISBN 1579731112
Publication Order
Preceded by
Try It, You'll Like It!
Followed by
Sir Arthur to the Rescue

The Truth Pops Out is the fifth book in Arthur's Family Values, a series of Arthur book titles aimed specifically at teaching morals. The moral of the book is "Honesty." The book was written by K. Emily Hutta and illustrated by Judy Nelson.

Publisher's summary

At Arthur's garage sale, Binky finds out why honesty is the best policy.


During a trip to the zoo Buster learns that they are running out of space for baby animals and can't afford to build a new nursery. He, Arthur and the others decide to hold a yard sale to raise money for the cause. During the yard sale, Binky takes a shine to an old jack-in-the-box toy, but accidentally breaks it. He tries everything he can to hide what happened, but eventually comes to learn that honesty is the best policy.

Plot summary

Arthur and his friends are hanging out at the Tree House when Buster arrives, asking them to guess where he just was. None of them can, so he explains that he was just at the zoo and shows everyone a pamphlet saying that the zoo has run out of room for baby animals and can't afford to build a new nursery. He thinks maybe they could help, but everyone notes that their allowances or even the money they've saved up wouldn't be sufficient. Brain suggests that they could raise the money somehow, leading Muffy to suggest the idea of a fundraiser.

Francine suggests the idea of a garage sale and everyone else comes up with ideas from there, Arthur agreeing to ask his parents to have the sale at his place. On the day of the sale, everyone arrives with large boxes of items to sell. Francine brings a box of baby toys she says that she doesn't play with anymore. Binky agrees, saying that "only babies play with baby toys." However, when nobody is looking, Binky pulls an old jack-in-the-box toy out of Francine's box and starts playing with it. He laughs as the toy pops out, but then it comes completely out of the box when he cranks it a second time. Fearful that the broke it, he stuffs it back in the box and then hides the toy in a toaster oven, but somebody takes it out. He then hides it in a pile of clothes, only for someone to buy the clothes. His next attempt, a beat-up lawn mower, fares no better.

The Truth Pops Out

A boy cries, believing he broke the jack-in-the-box

Suddenly, Binky hears the music of the jack-in-the-box playing and rushes to stop the little kid who has taken a shine to the jack-in-the-box, but it's too late and the jack comes flying right out, surprising D.W., who says that the boy broke it. The boy starts to cry and Binky, embarrassed, goes red and admits that he broke the toy. He offers the boy a toy firetruck that he brought to the yard sale in exchange for free. Francine comes over, asking what's going on, and Binky admits that he broke her toy. Francine, however, says that the toy isn't broken and that the puppet just came loose from the hook that it attaches to at the bottom. She re-attaches it and the toy is fine. Arthur asks to see it, saying that he loves jack-in-the-boxes and Brain calls the toy fascinating.

D.W. runs up to Binky with a dollar, saying that someone wants to buy the toy for someone special. Binky looks sad, but gives the jack-in-the-box to D.W. At the end of the day, most of the group is happy, as the garage sale has been a great success. They sold just about everything except for Brain's Super Science comics and they have plenty of money that will be a great help to buy the zoo a nursery. Binky, however, sits to the side sadly. As everyone heads home, his mom approaches him, with, to his surprise, the jack-in-the-box. As it turns out, he's the someone special that someone wanted to buy the toy for. She says she bought it for him because it reminds her of him, always full of surprises. He thanks her and gives her a big hug.


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