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I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This Paperback – June 8, 2006


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Paperback, June 8, 2006
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100%20Children%27s%20Books%20to%20Read%20in%20a%20Lifetime

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Speak (June 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142405558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142405550
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 6.7 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,161,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Two girls: one white, one black; one abused, one protected, both missing their mothers. An unlikely friendship ignites between the two, and, in sharing their differences, both of their lives are transformed. Jacqueline Woodson won a Coretta Scott King Honor for this moving, tightly written tale of friendship, racism, and loss. In a starred review, The Horn Book calls it a "haunting and beautifully poetic novel." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This sensitive yet gritty novel about incest may be Woodson's ( Between Madison and Palmetto ) strongest work to date. Marie, the eighth-grade narrator, lives in an all-black suburb of Athens, Ohio, with her father; her mother, who has inherited money from her own parents, sends arty messages from the far-flung locales she has toured since leaving the family two years ago. Ignoring the sneers of her friends--and her father's warnings--Marie befriends "whitetrash" Lena, the new girl at school. Woodson confronts sticky questions about race head-on, with the result that her observations and her characterizations are all the more trustworthy. Her approach to the incest theme is less immediate but equally convincing--Marie receives Lena's restrained confidences about being molested, at first disbelieving Lena, then torn between her desire to help her friend and her promise not to tell anyone. Lena has tried all the textbook solutions--including reporting her father to the authorities--and has learned that outside interference only brings more trouble. Marie, struggling to cope with her mother's desertion, must accept Lena's disappearance, too, when Lena and her younger sister first decide to run away and then do flee. Told in adroitly sequenced flashbacks, Woodson's novel is wrenchingly honest and, despite its sad themes, full of hope and inspiration. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jacqueline Woodson's awards include 3 Newbery Honors, a Coretta Scott King Award and 3 Coretta Scott King Honors, 2 National Book Awards, a Margaret A. Edwards Award and an ALAN Award -- both for Lifetime Achievement in YA Literature. She is the author of more than 2 dozen books for children and young adults and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 34 customer reviews
This book was very well written.
Teen Reviewer
Marie is shocked to find that she actually likes Lena, even though her best friends make fun of and shun the poor girl.
A. Luciano
I really enjoyed reading this book, but wished Marie would have told someone Lena's secret.
Lori Unger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book for a college lit. class and was disturbed by the emotional affect I felt. This is a great book about race relations and children who loose a parent but the subject of sexual abuse does not provide an answer for children who might be experiencing the same abuse as Lena. The book is rated at a fourth grade level however I am not sure that an average fourth grader would understand the problem of sexual abuse. A good understanding of the whole social issue of sexual abuse must be explained to a child before reading this book. I would hate to see a child who is experiencing sexual abuse read this and come up with the solution of running away from their problems. This could be a good starting point for discussion on possible solutions for Lena's problem.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Jacqueline Woodson has used good taste in confronting the issue of child abuse. She presents two girls from very different backgrounds and bring them together to form a beautiful friendship.
Maria and Lena share a common bond of the lost of their mothers. The book is a must read for young adult audiences.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lori Unger on April 19, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed reading this book, but wished Marie would have told someone Lena's secret. I feel that some children who read this book would get the impression that keeping secrets from adults can be a solution to the problem. Lena was sexually abused by her father and Marie kept that secret. Lena is a poor white girl and Marie is a middleclass black girl. These two girls establish a wonderful friendship and share the loss of their mothers. Lena's mother died from breast cancer and Marie's mother left the family two years ago. I feel the author did a nice job with racial relations and reaching children who have lost a parent. However, I would like to have seen her describe deeper feelings and solutions for children who experience sexual abuse. I was hoping for Marie to eventually tell the secret to an adult and Lena realizes that she was a true friend for doing so. In the end Lena finally decides to leave with her younger sister Dion so her father cannot touch either of them ever again. Marie is very upset Lena is leaving and tries to convince her to stay and tell the cops and things could be different. Lena says she cannot and will write her soon. The bond that Marie and Lena established will last forever. This book is rated for 4th grade to junior high level. Due to sexual abuse not be explained in depth, I feel fourth and fifth grade may be too young to understand the book unless the teacher does beforehand.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amy on April 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Daringly confronting the issues of sexual abuse, death, divorce, pain, racism, and relashionships, this eloquent novel was deeply affecting. It reads easily, holds your attention, and leaves you crying with a new look on the world. I recommend it to all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By annmmar on October 4, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The books is set in Ohio about two girls one white(Lena) one black(Marie). The tables have change in which the black girl is the one who is well off and the white girl is very poor. The book is written from Marie's view. She met her through school where the first day she sat next to her. Both girls soon realize they have a lot in common both their mothers are no longer around. Marie's mother abandoned her and her dad and Lena's mother died of cancer. The book deals with a very sensitive subject about sexual abuse which Lena's dad does to her. The abuse though is slightly touched upon.I believe the author really touched the heart with this book it was very sad but yet it's stuff that happens every day highly recommend great for book discussion for children pertaining to race relation and possible an introducion to knowing about abuse.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I liked the book and everything, but I as expecting a little more. It didn't really tell you anything. You'd want to know exactly how Lena and Marie must've felt, but it didn't really tell you in much detail. It did have a lot of questions that annoyed me as well because it didn't seem "real". You'll know what I mean when you read it. There are other books out there that'll tell you a lot more idea and feeling, so I only rated it 3 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 1, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
(...)This is such a masterpiece of a book,the reason I gave it a five was because I can't rate it higher.If I could no number on earth could be 'just right' for it,it will be lesser than what it deserves.Now this is the book that should be heard about on news,unfoutunetly people don't really see the value of it.

Marie is an african american girl,she has a pretty nice life,and is acepted by many people at school.Although she might seem like she has the perfect life,she doesn't she hardly knows her mother.This lets her down alot.She has tons of friends and all,but one day a girl name Lena appears which Marie's friends call 'whittrash'since she's whit,and where Marie lives there are not many people who are white.I need to say that Marie was rude to Lena at first.After a while they become great friends which is when Lena tells Marie a horrifing secret.Marie must decide if she is really helping her by keeping it.

Lena,however did tell Marie that she was leaving because of this secret,in the end she does,but Marie learns a very valueble lesson,she remembers when she treated Lena bad,and what Lena told her,whci is something unforgettable.

Recomended!
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