Margin Notes



Hidden Truths by Elly Swartz asks a big question, how far would you go to keep a promise? It tells the story of Dani and Eric who are best friends who go through something traumatic together. As Dani tries to heal, Eric is trying to come to terms with the fact that he may have been the one to cause the accident that hurt Dani. Neither of them knows how to handle their feelings, so they keep everything bottled up and focus more on who they think they should appear to be to everyone else. This drives the friends apart and sets into motion a series of events that will have you hoping these two can forgive one another and find their way back to their friendship and themselves.

Hidden Truths was such a heart wrenching middle grade novel and really had me considering the lengths we go to at all ages to be accepted and to fit in. The author does a really great job of appealing to a younger audience with pressures they would face in trying to fit in with a group of people, and leaves readers with a glaring message of hope that our differences shouldn’t separate us, instead they should bring us together.

The whole time I was reading, all I could think of was how great of a class read aloud this would be in a middle grade classroom. It was fast paced and had some dramatic moments that would engage readers. It also had a lot of points where you could stop and consider the motivations of the characters, the connections to we could make to ourselves and the choices we have made, and how the alternating perspectives of Dani & Eric really impact our understanding of the story and these young characters. There is something about a middle grade novel that can not only help us grow and reflect on our own choices, but also create empathy for the characters and their experiences and this one definitely delivers. It felt like it was appealing to every part of me that had ever struggled and gone to any certain length to try and fit in and is perfect for adults and children alike. Hidden Truths should have a place on all middle school classroom library shelves!

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