Four Secrets

  • Interest Level: Grade 7 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 7

“To you the idea to kidnap Chase Dobson might seem like a mistake. But to us… we were just trying to stop him from being so…evil. We just…we had to stop him. No one helps kids like us. Not at my school. We aren’t the important kids. We knew it wouldn’t stop unless we stopped it ourselves.”

Katie, Nate, and Renata had no farther to fall down the social ladder. But when they hit bottom, they found each other. Together, they wanted to change things. To stop the torment. So they made a plan. One person seemed to have everyone’s secrets—and all the power. If they could stop him…

But secrets are complicated, powerful things. They are hard to keep. And even a noble plan to stop a bully can go horribly wrong.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 7 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 7
Genre Young Adult
Copyright 2012
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Lab ®
Language English
Number of Pages 288
Publication Date 2012-08-01
Reading Counts! Level 5.5
Text Type Fiction
BISACS YAF058020, YAF011000, YAF058120
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5.25 x 7.5
Lexile 850
ATOS Reading Level 5.5
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 153054
Accelerated Reader® Points 9.0
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, Reviewed, and Starred Reviews


  • Booklist Top 10 Crime Fiction for Youth, Winner, 2013
  • Black Eyed Susan Book Awards Nominee, Short-listed, 2012


School Library Journal

“These middle school kids encounter drugs, alcohol, sexuality, and violence, but Willey sensitively and skillfully reveals not only the details of their drastic act, but also the secrets that the three friends and their victim harbor, secrets that shape who they are and what their futures may be.” —School Library Journal


“This novel will make students think, and would be good for discussion.” —VOYA

The Horn Book Magazine

“‘There is a secret story and it is inside of another secret story and that one is inside of another secret story,’ writes Katie, and the four secrets, one about each of the teens, are satisfyingly juicy yet given depth by Willey’s understanding of the complexities of friendship.” —The Horn Book Magazine

Publishers Weekly

“[A] meticulously detailed and psychologically astute story with the feel of a procedural drama.” —Publishers Weekly


“Low on visceral detail but rich in unique voices, Willey’s story masterfully teases out information until the final pages—and the ultimate revelations are well worth the torture.” —starred, Booklist

Author: Margaret Willey

Margaret Willey has been writing for many years in many different genres. All of her books and stories come from a personal place, either something that happened to her or something she witnessed at close range. Like her previous novel from Carolrhoda Lab, Four Secrets (2012), Beetle Boy is about bullying, but a different kind of bullying—the kind inflicted on children by their parents. Beetle Boy was inspired by a real boy who was completely under his father's control and trying to make the best of it until he could escape. Margaret lives in Grand Haven with her husband, Richard Joanisse, and she is currently working on a new novel and a collection of essays about her childhood in Michigan.

Illustrator: Bill Hauser

A Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art graduate, Bill Hauser's artwork has graced the record covers, t-shirts, and posters of numerous punk, hardcore, and heavy metal bands from around the world. Inspired by '80s rock and roll artists like Pushead and Richard Corben, Hauser's attention to detail, jagged line work and bright color schemes reflect the chaotic urgency of punk rock gigs. Bill Hauser is well known in the realm of underground music, having worked with bands like: Ghoul, Bad Religion, ANTiSEEN, Hirax, In Defence, Skit System, BANE, Hellnation and Ozzy Osbourne. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.