“Trading Secrets” by Melody Carlson

Product Details

Back in fifth grade, Micah Knight got an Amish pen pal, and over the years, they’ve exchanged many letters–and many secrets. At age seventeen, Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. The only problem is that because of confusion about her name when the pen pals were assigned, her pen pal was a boy, Zack Miller. And all this time, Micah’s never told Zack that she’s actually a girl! While she wants nothing more than to experience life on Zack’s Amish farm, she’s afraid he’ll hate her for deceiving him all these years. But she makes up her mind to face the music–and that’s where the fun really begins.

Trading Secrets is great fun – and it’s not just for slumber parties anymore!  Carlson has penned a fantastic story of choices, responsibility, and growing up – and it’s a enjoyable from Page 1 to the last.

A spin-off of the trading places scenario, Carlson ups the ante with this story – because instead of trying to get into a better situation, Micah knows that telling the truth will cost her the most important friendship of her life.  In spite of the high consequences, Micah is determined to do the right thing and help Zack’s family at the same time – even when it’s difficult and uncomfortable for her.

I admire Micah’s dedication to woman-ing up, if you will, to the confusion that spun out of control.  It would have been much easier to zip off and ditch Zack’s friendship, and with it the disgust of his family, but she sticks it out through thick and thin, determined to help wherever possible.  It’s that very choice that makes the romantic angle of the story work, too.  Unlike most teen stories, where a single glance and a chiseled face ‘make’ the foundation of someone’s undying love, Micah doesn’t deny her attraction to Zack and hopes for an appearance to match the character he’s shared with her over the years – because that is what has held her devotion for years.  Their admiration starts as a true, deep friendship, and not only does this set a great example for teen readers, but it makes for a wonderful story.

I haven’t read a Carlson story yet that I haven’t enjoyed.  Her trademarks are smooth writing, fun characters, and deep lessons – and this one fits all three to a tee.

I received a free copy of Trading Secrets from Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.


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