"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

25 June 2018

What They Don't Know

Maggi, Nicole. What They Don't Know. Sourcebooks Fire, 2018.

Mellie's family is very conservative, so when she discovers that she is pregnant, she isn't sure what she should do. She has always believed that abortion is wrong in all circumstances, but she is certain that she doesn't want to carry this baby, even to give it up for adoption. Lise used to be friends with Mellie before Mellie's family took her out of Girl Scouts. They are still classmates, but their lives couldn't be more different. When Lise hears Mellie crying in the bathroom, she wonders if she can do something to help her childhood friend.

This story is told from both Mellie's and Lise's perspectives, in the form of journal entries they complete for their English class. Mellie's family rings true for the most part, although I have questions about some things, particularly Mellie's reference to the Apocrypha being like an addition to the Bible. From my fundamentalist Christian upbringing, which seems to mirror Mellie's, the Apocrypha was not considered to be Scripture, nor was it anything we ever read or studied. Lise and Mellie also sounded very similar in their journal entries. I was reading a digital ARC, so I am hoping the publisher will use a different typeface or something for each girl, as it was occasionally difficult to remember who was telling the story. The story itself was also a bit didactic and afterschool special-esque at times, which I found grating when the topic itself is so important. Nonetheless, I could see the teens at my library thoroughly enjoying this story and wanting to read and discuss it. Recommended.

Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: discussion of rape, verbal abuse, threats of violence, description of an abortion
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Read-Alikes: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson; Quiver by Julia Watts; Hush by Eishes Chayil

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Edelweiss for the purpose of review.

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