Trading Secrets By Melody Carlson

This book was soooo good! The characters were witty, clever, and humorous. I couldn’t put it down and read it in 2 days! This was accomplished by staying up till 3:00 a.m. two nights in a row!!! I know many have posted it as a young adult read but I think that is too limiting. Adults young or old would enjoy it.
When she was in the 5th grade, Micah agreed to be a part of a class project and write to an Amish pen pal. The one assigned to her was named Zach. The teacher sent the children’s pictures but due to the Amish beliefs, they were not delivered. With her name, Zach thinks Micah is a boy. She doesn’t want to have their correspondence to end so she doesn’t reveal this secret.
As many years pass and many letters, Zach and Micah become very close. They reveal their deepest thoughts and desires. When her mother dies, Zach is the one that gives her the support she needs.
Fast forward 6 years and many letters. Zach writes Micah telling her is coming to visit. She panics! To her relief he cancels his visit but she is disappointed because she really wants to meet him. She devises a hair brain scheme to go see him and pretend she is a boy!
She pulls it off for a very short time, but overcome by guilt, she ends up doing a dramatic reveal at the family dinner table. The entire family is horrified and Zach is embarrassed and angry. Plans to go home keep falling through and she must stay with the family she has deceived for much longer than she would like! A very awkward situation to say the least! Micah finds that Zach has a few surprises of his own!
Micah not only learns firsthand about the Amish lifestyle but a great deal about herself too. She also has to face the music concerning the damage her deception caused to the lives of others. I found it very interesting to look at Zach’s culture thorough her eyes as a teenager. There wasn’t a dull moment in this story. It was fun, interesting, and very entertaining. I found the plot to be very different than other Amish fictions. It showed the contrast in the English vs. Amish cultures I would not have thought of, and she does it through the perspective of the characters. Melody Carlson is a master writer! You will want to read this book! Be ready for surprises!
I received this book free from Revell Publishers, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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