Some thoughts on a book of courage and strength - and secrets ---Macdonald, Maryann. (2013) Odette's Secret by Maryann Macdonald (Bloomsbury, 2013) ISBN: 978-1-59990-750-5; $16.99.
I've been meaning to write this dialogue about Odette's Secret for weeks now. I've been busy working on a manuscript and never seem to have enough time to get to this. However, today I saw this book again on my writing desk and knew it had to come -- so a little 'interlude" from my manuscript writing and onto sharing a great new book with you.
Written in free verse and of definite appeal to middle grade readers. Some will decry the absence of male characters as a deterrent to male readership. I don't think that male readers are so egotistic as to think that ALL interesting characters are male. Odette's story is filled with suspense, history, and plenty of interest -- males and females alike will identify with the child - parent relationship and the emotion of being separated and faced with keeping a secret that meant life and death.
Since by now others have contributed reviews to several news agencies I want to take a different approach. When I read I like to take notes - brief quotes from the book, or quotes from my mind... and I am going to share those with you. Make of these what you will...
- "Twist vegetables from their stem."
- At night: "I imagine my mother's face. It floats in the air just outside my window."
- Father is a prisoner.
- Dark hole dug deep into the earth.
- A measure of poverty — "And I will get used to it. She's right. I do."
- "A farmer lets me cut hay with a sickle."
- far up in the hills, / all alone
- ...retreats into her own solitude.
- but lured back by poetry... it even lures her to return to school with the village children.
- poetry sustained her father, too, as he traveled 8 mos. from his liberated POW camp home to Paris.
- brought her, not a pearl necklace, but a leather bound notebook.
- The Story of all the secrets I kept and the story of my lost-and-found heart.
If you are a teacher/librarian and wish to take a look at a teacher's guide for this book - download it here http://www.mcbookwords.com//links/teacherguides/macdonald_OdettesSecrets.pdf.
Read other reviews of this book:
Hiding in Plain Site: A Review of Odette's Secrets by Lyn Miller Lachman
Odette's Secrets: A Review | The New York Public Library
The Publisher's page for this book. Bloomsbury Publishing
Odette's Secret on Facebook. - https://www.facebook.com/OdettesSecrets
Page featuring Odette's Secret on the author's website.
Odette's Secrets | Maryann Macdonald | Jewish Book Council
Odette's Secrets — Kid's Books 101
Official book trailer from Flatline-Films
"Odette's Secrets" review by Claire Martin - Denver Post — Pages
The Children's War A review of Odette's Secrets by Maryann Macdonald; review by a former NYC public school teacher (4th grade), Alex.
For those of you who are interested in additional books that take place during the time World War II was taking place may wish to take a look at this bibliography: "Historical Novels and Picture Books for World War II -- Dr. Seuss and More."
Visit the author, MaryAnn Macdonald's website.