Saturday, June 26, 2010

Reading: A Summer Secret

I went to Booksneeze to order a new book, but it turns out that I forgot to do a review of the book I had already read. This is the young adult book I mentioned in my last book review.

A Summer Secret by Kathleen Fuller is a young adult novel about an 13-year-old Amish girl who has three brothers. She spends time in an old abandoned barn on a neighboring property to get some peace and quiet, away from all of her chores, even though her father has explicitly told her to stay away from the dilapidated abandoned structure. It turns out that there is evidence that someone else has been there. The book is about what happens that summer with this stranger. The stranger turns out to be a foster kid who was abused by the foster parents.

It was a fun book to read, and I had a hard time putting it down to do my own chores. The book does teach values - the children were kind to the stranger, and to each other. This book follows the same formula that all children's and young adult books and shows seem to have lately - that whatever the children find, they tend to keep it a secret from their parents. I found that a disturbing trend in books, because I don't think that is good advice for children. My daughter kept a lot of secrets, and it makes me wonder how much of that was the modeling of the characters she saw in books and shows. I can't fault this particular author for this trend though, because it does make the book more exciting - ooh a secret!

Disobeying parents, and keeping secrets, and not seeking out the parents' help just don't seem to be values I want for my kid. Also it bothered me that the stranger was abused by his foster parents. Yes, I am sure that it does happen, but it seems that every fiction I read about foster parents is that the parents abuse the kid. I certainly hope that doesn't happen in reality. I know I didn't abuse my foster kids, and I am sure that most of the parents are well meaning, and do it to help the child. There is no pay in it, just reimbursement for costs and expenses.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

Allie said...

It does sound like a good book. Most of the books I read as a kid had the same theme - secrets - portraying the adults as someone to keep away from. I did model that in my own life. However, my boys have also read books like that, and we have GREAT communication. Not sure if it's due to homeschooling or what - probably.
I remember thinking the children in Edith Nesbit's books had an awful lot of freedom, and did quite adult things. I think that was part of the fascination!