My Horrible Secret


Book: My Horrible Secret

Author: Stephen Roos

Illustrator: Carol Newsom

Publisher: Dell Pub. Co., republished 1991

ISBN-13: 978-0440037880 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0440037883 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0440439561 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0440439566 Paperback

Language level: 2

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level:  Ages 9 – 12

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Category: General youth fiction

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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     Roos, Stephen.  My Horrible Secret (Published in 1983 by Delacorte Press, 1 Dag Hammerskjold Plaza, New York City, NY  10017).  Eleven-year-old Warren Fingler lives in New Eden with his dad, his mom who owns a bookstore, and his older brother Roger who is a sophomore at New Eden High.  Warren is a student in Miss Presley’s fifth grade class, and his best friend at school is Arthur Lomax who wants to become a musician, but his only other friend is New Eden is a girl, Laurel O’Connor, who is a freshman in high school and actually has had a crush on Roger.   Warren is smart but considered rather nerdy, while Roger is a super athlete, though somewhat of a jerk towards Warren, calling him “Chump.” 

     With the prospect of Camp Hit-a-Homer looming before him, Warren resorts to desperate measures to hide his horrible secret.  So he takes up horseback riding, is promptly thrown from the horse, and breaks his arm.  Then, when he challenges uppity Claire Van Kemp, the class president, to a fund-raising competition, he becomes aware that if he wins he will have to expose his horrible secret before the whole town.  What is this secret?  Does anybody else know about it?  And who wins the fund-raising contest?  There are a few common euphemisms (gosh, gee, heck), but by the end of the book I had a generally good feeling about the story.

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