Four Secrets

Margaret Willey. Carolrhoda Lab, $17.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7613-8535-6
There’s very little that’s expected about Willey’s (A Summer of Silk Moths) novel about secrets and the power in both keeping and releasing them. For starters, the three teenagers at its center are middle school, not high school students. And while the teens—Nate, Katie, and Renata—share their versions of the events surrounding their alleged abduction of a popular jock, a large part of the narrative is dedicated to Greta Shield, a divorced social worker attempting to piece together the truth. Since Nate, Katie, and Renata spend the novel in juvenile detention, the sections focusing on Greta greatly contribute to its forward momentum. Nate and Katie’s perspectives unfold in journal entries they prepare for Greta; Katie tends toward the exclamatory, while Nate writes in a formal, heroic voice that reflects his passion for fantasy literature. For her part, Renata contributes dramatic, almost nightmarish b&w illustrations (not all seen in final form) that keenly demonstrate her powers of observation. An unnecessary nod toward the supernatural is the only off note in what’s otherwise a meticulously detailed and psychologically astute story with the feel of a procedural drama. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/08/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
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FORMATS
Open Ebook - 292 pages - 978-1-283-69530-5
Paperback - 277 pages - 978-1-4677-1626-0
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