Middle School / Books Rule!
Recommended books for grades 5-8

THE SECRETS OF TREE TAYLOR, by Dandi Daley Mackall


The story: Tree Taylor isn’t really looking for secrets–it’s more like the secrets are looking for her. She knows that Butch is two-timing her sister Eileen. She knows there’s something creepy about the way Chuck treats his step-sister Penny. And worst of all, she knows there’s more to the story about Mr. Kinney being shot with his own rifle than other people in their small town might think. Tree’s determined to get all the information and write a story about the Kinney shooting that will earn her a spot on the school paper…but as she finds out more and more, it gets harder and harder to tell the truth about the Kinneys (and about Penny and even Butch) when she knows how much trouble the truth can cause. When is someone else’s secret yours to tell?

Mrs. Friend’s opinion: Tree’s small-town experiences during the summer of 1963 contrast with the uproar of what’s going on in the larger world. Tree, a truth hunter, finds out that sometimes knowing what really happened can be harder than not knowing, and that figuring out what to do about what you know can be the hardest thing of all.


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