cover image Tell Us Your Secret

Tell Us Your Secret

Barbara Cohen. Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, $13.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-553-05810-9

Crunch, a ``regular guy,'' is an unwilling attendee at a summer workshop for teenage writers, though he finds the ratio of eight girls to four boys to his liking. Relationships form fast at Marygrove, and Crunch finds himself ``fooling around'' with Didi. But he remains intrigued with mysterious, intense Eve, who ignores him. While researching the ghost story he's going to write as his final project, Crunch discovers a secret underground tomb on the Marygrove estate. He lets the group--except for snooty Sierra--in on his find, and when they all assemble there, each person winds up confessing his or her worst fears. Eve is the lone holdout; as always, she keeps herself separate. But when Crunch instigates a prank that gets Sierra locked in the tomb, Eve finally breaks and Crunch learns far more than he ever wanted about the burden she bears as the daughter of concentration camp survivors. Cohen ( People Like Us ) masterfully combines a variety of themes in this multi-textured novel. The author conveys her love of writing, at the same time painting a moving portrait of the long shadow the Holocaust casts over past, present and future generations. Ages 12-up. (May)