A Secret Shared

Patricia MacLachlan. HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-06-288585-2
When deeply bonded twins Ben and Nora accidentally discover, through a DNA sample test their mother orders as a subject for her newspaper column, that their beloved younger sister Birdy is Swedish—not Irish, like their mother, or Italian, like their father—they are dumbfounded. Secretly uncovering more of Birdy’s story, and trying to decide whether the new information matters, they struggle together to process the stunning realization that their kind and affectionate parents have concealed the truth. This slim story of a loving cued-white family confronting a well-meant deception unfolds slowly, with quiet emotional drama and sometimes improbable gentleness; the children are uncommonly wise and the parents uncommonly calm. MacLachlan’s (Wondrous Rex) signature short, careful sentences, delivered in Nora’s first-person narration, imbue each phrase with significance, creating a lyrical ambiance that draws readers into the close family circle, particularly as their mother explains the poignant circumstances through which Birdy became part of their family. Especially moving is the depiction of the parents’ love for each other as well as their children as they move forward into their newly shared truth. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/01/2021
Release date: 09/28/2021
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 160 pages - 978-0-06-288586-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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