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The Secret of Me Hardcover – December 16, 2005

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Karen and Michael Braziller Books
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Persea (December 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892553227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892553228
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,570,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up–This novel in verse follows 14-year-old Lizzie through a year in which, despite her loving family, a circle of good friends, and a potential first boyfriend, she is plagued with a personal secret. She desperately wants to find out the story behind her adoption and her own identity, and while her parents and brother and sister (also adopted) are sympathetic, they discourage her from pursuing it. The lack of information leads her to worry obsessively and she frequently finds herself in her broken place where she wonders if being adopted makes her less of a person and if she can ever share her secret with others. The poems are readable and heartfelt, based in part on the author's life. Kearney creates a believable voice for her protagonist, and this book will be welcomed by adults working with young adoptees. Though lacking the broader appeal of Kate Banks's Dillon Dillon (Farrar, 2002) and Hilary McKay's Saffy's Angel (S & S, 2002), it will find a receptive audience among teens who enjoy introspective coming-of-age dramas and thoughtful family stories. Kearney includes a good deal of supplemental material, including some thoughts on how families can discuss adoption among themselves, a guide to the poetic forms she has used (including pantoums, sestinas, and villanelles), six of Lizzie's favorite poems, and a list of recommended books on poetry and adoption.–Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


A special book filled with insight into the complexities of adoption. -- KLIATT, Claire Rosser

An amazing story of loss, love, growing up, and forgiving. -- Jacqueline Woodson

Sincere, poignant…reads like a memoir…real poetry with unique and inspiring language….a first-rate offering. -- Kirkus Reviews starred review

[A] tender, wonderfully written novel-in-verse. -- Norma Fox Mazer

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer C. Miller on May 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book at the recommendation of a friend, and was initially concerned that the format (poetry) wouldn't hold me. Turns out it was so engaging and fluid that I couldn't put it down. Like the lead character, I'm adopted and this book really captured the essence of growing up with a "secret me". I laughed and cried, and bought extra copies for friends and family. It's a moving, beautifully written book. Cheers and thank you Meg Kearney!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Terence Winch on February 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It seems pretty daring to attempt "a novel in verse" for young adults---how many of them read poetry?---but Meg Kearney brings so much passion, narrative skill, technical ability, and insider's insight to this wonderful little book that kids (and adults) will love it. There's a very engrossing story here, told in a novel way. Make that a poetic way. I have friends and relatives who were adopted, and I never felt such understanding and empathy for them as I did after reading this book. I hope "The Secret of Me" gets the attention it deserves.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Loca on May 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The Secret of me is a good book that is based on a kid that is adopted. When you start to read this book you wont be able to put it down because its so good. But the best part about this book is the format becasue it is poetry. The Secret of me is a book that all of you should and see what is it like to be adopted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cinderella on February 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is a great start for those who enjoy poetry and wish to write their own verse novels. She explains the types of poetry and uses her poetry as examples.
The story about her feelings about adoption is just fabulous, which makes you feel like you are in her shoes.
An easy and enjoyable read.
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More About the Author

Meg Kearney's most recent collection of poems for adults, Home By Now (Four Way Books, 2009), was winner of the 2010 PEN New England LL Winship Award; it was also a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year. The title poem of Home By Now is included in Garrison Keillor's Good Poems: American Places anthology (Viking Penguin 2011). Meg's other books include An Unkindness of Ravens (BOA Editions, 2001); The Secret of Me, a novel in verse for teens (Persea Books, 2005); and its sequel, The Girl in the Mirror, (Persea Books, 2012). Her story "Chalk" appears in Sudden Flash Youth:65 Short Short Stories (Persea 2011). Meg's first picture book, Trouper (the Three-Legged Dog), was published by Scholastic in fall 2013 and illustrated by E.B. Lewis. Trouper has been been selected as one of the Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People of 2014; one of the most "Diverse and Impressive Picture Books of 2013" by the International Reading Association, and one of the 2013-14 season's best picture books by the Christian Science Monitor, the Cooperative Children's Book Center, and Bank Street College of Education. It is also a Nominee for the 2014-2015 Alabama Camellia Children's Choice Book Award (Grades 2-3) and a Preliminary Nominee for the 2015-2016 Missouri Association of School Librarians (MASL) Readers Award (Show Me Readers, Grades 1-3). Meg's poetry has been featured on Poetry Daily and Garrison Keillor's "A Writer's Almanac," and has been featured in myriad anthologies, including The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present (Notre Dame Press, 2006), and Conversation Pieces: Poems That Talk to Other Poems (Knopf, 2007). Her nonfiction essay, "Hello, Mother, Goodbye," appears The Movable Nest: A Mother/Daughter Companion (Helicon Nine Press, 2007). She is Founding Director of the Solstice Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program of Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA. For eleven years prior to joining Pine Manor, she was Associate Director of the National Book Foundation (sponsor of the National Book Awards) in New York City. She also taught poetry at the New School University. Meg lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their three-legged black Lab, Trooper.