About the Book:
Title: A Secret Shared
Author: Patricia MacLachlan
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: September 28, 2021
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Newbery Medal–winning author Patricia MacLachlan paints a moving portrait of what it means to be a family, the power of love, and the importance of bringing the truth out into the light, in this beautiful and profound story about adoption.
Nora and Ben’s younger sister Birdy loves to keep secrets. She surprises her family more than once: She hides a kitten in her room. She writes a beautiful poem. One day Birdy watches her mother spit into a tube, ready to send it off to find out more about herself and where her family came from. Birdy spits into a tube, too, when no one sees her.
But when the test results come back, they are a surprise. Birdy is seemingly not related to Nora and Ben’s parents. But if she is adopted, how could that have happened without the children knowing?
Nora and Ben must learn when to keep a secret, and who to go to for help—and eventually, how to solve this secret for the entire family.
I’ve been reading a lot of rom coms lately which are always full of hilarious and crazy characters and events, and I love them! But sometimes it’s nice to read a more calm book. A Secret Shared has a lot happening in it, but it has the same feeling of being wrapped in a cozy blanket. It’s comforting and a bit nostalgic especially with its older writing style, but it was also sooo wonderful!
When Birdy sees her mother spit in a tube and sends her off, she does the same thing. But when her results come back, it shakes her whole family to its core. This is told from the perspective of Birdy’s sister, Nora, and it’s a super sweet tale of realizing blood is not necessary to make a family.
This is the same author who wrote Sarah Plain and Tall, and she continues the same writing style in this book. It’s almost lyrical, and since their mother is a poet, you get to see some poems as well. I thought the style really highlights the family you learn to love. I love how the parents and how they actually seemed to love each other and their children. . I loved seeing this solid family interact where the parents make mistakes, but they still love each other and their children. The siblings as well were super sweet together, and it all just showed how family is not always blood.
The pacing of this story was fantastic, and it was adorable watching this family figure out what to do with this revelation. One quote I thought was very touching from the book is when one of the teachers asks Nora and Ben, her twin brother, whether it matters if Birdy is adopted. While truths might have needed to come out, in the end, it didn’t really matter whether or not she was adopted. She was their sister even if she wasn’t their blood.
I loved this book! It was short and sweet, and a refreshing change from the normal kids books. It is more old fashioned than normal, but it could help open kids up to different writing styles. I would definitely recommend it to children of any age!
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, a positive review was not required.