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Four Secrets (Carolrhoda Ya) by Margaret…

Four Secrets (Carolrhoda Ya) (edition 2012)

by Margaret Willey, Bill Hauser (Illustrator)

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Title:Four Secrets (Carolrhoda Ya)
Authors:Margaret Willey
Other authors:Bill Hauser (Illustrator)
Info:Carolrhoda Books (2012), Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:2013 Archive
Tags:teens, girls, boys, bullying, juvenile detention, Ann Conway, 2013

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Four Secrets (Carolrhoda Ya) by Margaret Willey



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This book is about 3 friends that are in juvie for kidnapping the most popular guy in their school. While a social worker helps solve the mystery to keep them out of jail, they all learn they each have something to hide... a secret. All four kids (the 3 friends, and the kidnapped boy) have their own story to tell.

I liked this book a lot because it kept you guessing what would happen next. It was written in 3 voices and drawings. (Renata was the drawings and Katie, Nate, and the Social worker were the voices.) ( )
  CatGoya | Nov 10, 2013 |
3 jr high student are sent to juvenile detention for "kidnapping" the golden boy of the school. Told throught their journals, written to their case worker, Katie, Renata & Nate protect their secret & each other.Katie writes 2 journals - 1 for her own feelings & 1 for the caseworker. Nate writes in a style of Christopher Paolini--loyal to his friends. Renata chooses graphic artwork to tell her story. Mrs Shield, the caseworker, does her best to get to the core of thier incarceration. Bullying is at the core- & these 3 friends have not made a good choice on how to handle it. That is only 3 secrets-- read to find the 4th... ( )
  TheMadHatters | Feb 25, 2013 |
I feel so fortunate to have received a copy of Four Secrets from the publisher, otherwise this book may have passed me by. And this book should not pass readers by. Four Secrets is an interesting and gripping read that I was reluctant to put down. Honestly, it takes a lot for me to read a print book these days — pathetic, but yeah I need my ereader. I find myself not finishing print books that I start, but not with Four Secrets. The text of this book pulled me in. Ms. Willey tells the story through journal entries of three 8th grade children and from the point of view of a social worker trying to help them. Each character has a distinct voice; but each is interesting and easy to connect with. The setting of the story in the present is a juvenile detention center, but there are flash backs to the halls of the middle school, parties, children’s houses and encounters with parents. The subject matter? Bullying, secrets and friendship.

This is a book that I want my 7th grade daughter to read. Absolutely. It does, however, have appeal beyond middle schoolers. Parents, high school aged children, teachers, and fans of middle-grade and young adult books will enjoy Four Secrets. Four Secrets is a message book, but beyond that it is also enjoyable. The message is one that needs to be heard by parents, teachers and students (both victims and bullies) but I don’t think it is presented like an after-school special. Ms. Willey does a great job in moving beyond stereotypes of mean girls and negligent parents as the ones responsible for all the pain that kids go through. The tension in the book starts off right in the beginning and gradually readers learn the secrets lurking behind everyone’s story.

Three friends are bonded together because they have been rejected by the cool group in their 8th grade year. They have been slammed and ignored electronically and in real life. Their parents don’t understand or can’t relate — and in some ways are neglectful. Teachers pretend not to notice troublesome and scary behavior that happens on their watch. And each child — despite being just a child — brings to the story their own baggage and their own deep dark secrets. Because these kids feel like they can’t trust adults and they don’t know how to get help, they make some really bad decisions on how to deal with this problem on their own.

So read it, share it, encourage your child or students to read it – -and then discuss it! Because I think this story is so important.

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  ReginaR | Oct 19, 2012 |
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Through journal entries required by their social worker at a juvenile detention center, middle-schoolers Katie, Nate, and Renata relate how they came to kidnap their tormentor, Chase, a star athlete from the town's most prominent family, who surprisingly became their willing victim.… (more)

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