Middle School to Young Adult Books

Theme: Secrets

Chanda’s Secrets - (ISBN: 978-1550378344)

by Allan Stratton

Chandra, an African teen, has been through many changes: moving, losing her own father, and then her first stepfather. The biggest challenge in her life comes when she realizes her mother has AIDS. Chandra confronts the disease as it exists today in the real African and attempts to treat her mother and others with dignity. She also attempts to educate people who refuse to talk about the problem. Sometimes keeping secrets has harmful effects, as in the case of the toward AIDS in the Africa in this book. Can you think of other social problems that should be faced and discussed, rather than hidden from public view?

Pieces of Georgia - (ISBN: 978-0440420552)

by Jen Bryant

Young Georgia struggles with the life her father tries to make for her after her mother dies. She seems to be artistically gifted like her mother and spends her time creating paintings, drawing, and enjoying the company of one inconsistent friend. Readers do not know who secretly gives Georgia a membership to a local museum as Georgia considers the many possibilities. Can you figure out who encouraged her art through this silent gift? Are there any other possibilities she didn’t consider?

Skellig - (ISBN: 978-0440229087)

by David Almond

What is a half-human, half-angel creature doing in the broken-down garage of Michael’s new house? Michael’s baby sister is very sick, and his parents are distracted by her needs. With his new friend Mina, though, David gets to know Skellig, the creature. As events unfold, more and more of Skellig’s secret nature is revealed. Try to get the audio version of this book with David Almond’s precisely accented and caring voice to get the full effect of this mix of reality and fantasy. Ask you local library if they can find it for you.

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets - (ISBN: 0525949313)

by Eva Rice

Two teen-aged women in 1940’s England navigate their way into the elite society world of men and socialites, trying to keep a status secret. This book for older teens reveals the failures and also the very human side of the changing British society. Compare “coming out in society” in Britain at this time to coming of age today in the United States.

The Secret Life of It Girls - (ISBN: 978-1416914921)

by Dakota Lane

An “it” girl is the ideal girl, the girl you are striving to be, but the girl you hate at the same time, since she has all the boys and loads of social status. This book is a semi-humorous look at how to figure out what kind of girl you want to be. What does your school or peer group call girls like the “it” girls?

We Have Always Lived in the Castle - (ISBN: 978-0143039976)

by Shirley Jackson

Readers easily become mesmerized with the life of the narrator and her sister. She explains how she and her sister live and how her sister always prepares their meals. They rarely go out, don’t see “unfriendly” neighbors, and follow established routines very closely. Only gradually does the writer reveal the terrible event that took place in the house and its secret perpetrator.

Quest for the Queen (Secrets of Droon #10) - (ISBN: 978-0439207843)

by Tony Abbott

The Secret Soldier: The Story of Deborah Sampson - (ISBN: 978-0590430524)

by Ann McGovern

The Sister - (ISBN: 9780307268167 )

by Poppy Adams

Activities for this Theme

Try creating a secret code.


Attempt a Cryptogram game.


Try this secret-swap with a good friend: Tell each other a secret you have never told anyone. Then guess why the friend never shared that secret before. Your friend’s reasons may surprise you!!