February 2010 - The Secret Olivia Told Me

posted Feb 10, 2010, 5:01 PM by Holly Shipman   [ updated Feb 10, 2010, 5:07 PM ]

Dear Students and Teachers,

Have you ever had a secret…..a secret so big you just couldn’t hold it inside you? And once you have a hold on that secret, what do you do with it? Do you tell someone – and if you choose to share – who will that special trustworthy someone be? This month’s Book of the Month, The Secret Olivia Told Me, by N. Joy, is about a little girl who is chosen to keep a special secret for her friend, Olivia, who begs her not to tell anyone. She tries really hard, but soon the secret just has to come out.

You might think our book would be written about the secret itself, but suprisingly enough, we don’t even get to know what the secret is. All we know is that the "beans are spilled" – the "cat’s out of the bag", the secret is shared – and then spread all over - until, of course, it is no longer a secret at all. This is a very interesting way of writing about a secret. It is unexpected, and it leaves the reader waiting and wanting for more information. The writer purposely chooses not to tell us everything about the story. What a great writing example!

I have a few challenges for you! I’d like you to think about several things as we read this book together in the mornings during the announcements. I’d like you to imagine you are Olivia. How do you think she felt once her secret was out? Perhaps you could write a diary entry for the day she realized her secret had been shared with the world. How did she feel? Next, I’d like you to tell me what the secret was. The book doesn’t tell us what the secret was – so dream it up – what do you think this special secret was all about? And, finally, I’d like you to tell me about a time when you either told your own secret to a friend, or how you told a secret that had been told to you. You can make it funny, or maybe not so funny….just put your feelings into words and then send them to the office so I can read all your wonderful thoughts. I really do enjoy reading your responses to the book of the month.

I can’t wait to read your stories. I can tell that this one is going to be fun!

Happy reading! 

Mrs. Hollinger

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