I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous and Obscure

i-cant-keepCindy and Lynn: The best-selling first six-word memoir book, Not Quite What I Was Planning, has spawned the publication of this all-teen entry collection. When that first book published, we started thinking about six-word booktalks, but never got around to writing more than a few of them: “We have more ideas than time” (6 words!) This summer, some of our teens picked up I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets (HarperTeen, 2009) at ALA and they raved about it at a later meeting. For some samples from the book, click on the title for the Booklist review by Daniel Kraus.

For our final summer BBYA book club meeting, we asked our teens to come with either a six-word memoir or a six-word book review: “Let them write our blog entry.” (6 words again!) Here’s what they submitted:

Six-word Teen Book Reviews

Catching Fire‘s better than first book. — Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

What the heck, who’s a dog? —Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill

Please punch Lyndon Johnson in the face. —Almost Astronauts by Tanya Lee Stone

Niece and nephew loved this book. —The Princess & the Unicorn by Carol Hughes

The “Gone” novels are so amazing. —Gone and Hunger by Michael Grant

Loved her name and her attitude. ==Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Beautiful Creatures is creative, exciting, different. — Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Nerd fits in, graphic novel heist. —Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis

Book to sink your teeth into. —Loch by Paul Zindel

Two quarterbacks, cheerleader, upside down plot. —Pop by Gordon Korman

The Big Splash is wicked awesome. —The Big Splash by Jack Ferraiolo

The Mysterious Benedict Society is AMAZING! —The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Six-Word Summer Memoirs

Summer’s boring, I’m ready for school.

Dressing up in costumes is amusing.

Life sucks and then you die.

I haven’t read any books lately.

Summer nights are more than that.

nonfiction_mondayYour Turn

Teachers and librarians can use this format in a variety of ways. Six-word booktalks would make a great readers’ advisory bulletin board. Teachers could ask students to compose a six-word summary of the day’s lesson as an exit ticket. A quick homeroom activity to write and share six-word memoirs would be fun, and counselors might want a copy for students to browse while waiting in their offices. Preread the book if using it with younger middle school students, some of the entries are edgier than others. We’d love for you to leave a comment with YOUR six-word book review. Let’s see what you’ve got!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

4 Comments on "I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous and Obscure"

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  1. crzy4bookslaura@gmail.com' Laura says:

    Climbing to perfection while spiraling downward. The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate

  2. angela.craft@gmail.com' Angela says:

    Six word comment:
    Exactly my feeling on Almost Astronauts!

  3. jacktiggs@gmail.com' Jack Tiggleman says:

    Many Katherines, Great Story. DFTBA John! — An Abundance of Katherines, John Green.

  4. I and my family loves reading. It’s always good to visit a blog which provides good reading material. Keep it up.

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