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Teamwork in Middle School to Solve Family Secrets and Achieve Forgiveness in New Book from Rob Buyea

Updated on October 14, 2018
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Middle School Students Learn That Some Secrets Should be Kept

7th Grade has more than one challenge
7th Grade has more than one challenge | Source

Family Relationships are Tricky

Rob Buyea is back with a sequel to his The Perfect Score in The Perfect Secret. This beloved author for ages 9-12 writes with humor and warm emotion to tell the story of seventh grade with its challenges and how students add to their challenges in their attempt to get two of their favorite teachers back together as sisters when they discover that the two no longer speak to each other.

Sixth grade was over and time to move on to seventh grade. Students learned at the end of sixth grade that Mrs. Wood and Mrs. Magenta are sisters who no longer speak to each other. They decide to band together to help their teachers get back together as sisters. The problem is that Mrs. Woods is no longer at Lake View Middle School. The adventures along the way to solving this problem introduce the students to the fact that everyone as a secret. Moms, dads, and friends all have some secret that they would rather not share.

Buyea's The Perfect Secret has all of the elements of seventh grade with friendships, activities, and the challenges that come with entering middle school. Working on the school newspaper is part of seventh grade for many middle school students and readers will enjoy the part that the school newspaper plays in the students' daily life at Lake View Middle School. The school newspaper is the key to getting Mrs. Woods and Mrs. Magenta in the same place to begin their healing and return to being real sisters.

Buyea mixes the students' challenge to repair the sisters' relationship with stories of family secrets in students' own families that must be forgiven. Young readers might find that some of these secrets may be part of their own family and that their own family needs to find forgiveness for a member. Who knows what secrets can be found in our families?

The Perfect Secret was published by Delacorte Press, a division of Random House Children's Books. It is recommended for ages 9-12 and has an ISBN of 978-1-5247-6459-3.

Fun Read for English and Middle School Reading Classes

Teachers who teach English and reading classes for middle school students will want to include Rob Buyea's The Perfect Secret in their classroom library. Buyea's books can be found on many state reading lists for ages 9-12. Chapter books with life lessons are always a good choice for inclusion in reading assignments.

*Read The Perfect Secret in a group reading session with a few chapters being read aloud each day. Students might like to participate in reading aloud to develop their skills in reading aloud to others.

*Take a class poll of students who have a friend or relative that they no longer speak to because of an argument. What kinds of differences cause arguments? Middle school students will be able to come up with a creative list of arguments that can cause two people not to speak to each other. Do they have family members who no longer speak to each other?

*Brainstorm with students to discuss ideas about ways to help friends and family solve their differences.

*Make a list of the family secrets that the characters discover in their own families as reading through the book progresses. Which ones are surprising? Which ones are serious? How do the characters work through the discovery of these family secrets to reach a point of forgiveness?

*Take a class poll of how they would handle a family secret that they might discover in their own family. What would their feelings be if they discovered a family secret that was a serious secret?

*Assign a creative writing project for your students to write a story about a possible family secret and how their characters would behave in coping with the family secret. Have students illustrate their stories with drawings to create a book to share with the class at a later time.

*Assign a creative writing project for your students to choose a favorite character from The Perfect Secret and why this character is their favorite. Gavin, Randi, Scott, Trevor, and Natalie are all typical students in seventh grade. Have your students describe one of these characters in relation to a real friend that they might have in their class.

Favorite Characters

Who is your favorite character from The Perfect Secret?

See results

© 2018 Cindy Hewitt


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