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

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

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by Larry Smith, Rachel Fershleiser
     
 

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One life. Six words. What's yours?

True tales of love, loss, good friends, and bad hair days filled Not Quite What I Was Planning, the New York Times bestselling first book in the Six-Word Memoir series—and an international phenomenon. Some of the most compelling were by teens, so now SMITH Magazine has compiled a book written

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Overview

One life. Six words. What's yours?

True tales of love, loss, good friends, and bad hair days filled Not Quite What I Was Planning, the New York Times bestselling first book in the Six-Word Memoir series—and an international phenomenon. Some of the most compelling were by teens, so now SMITH Magazine has compiled a book written entirely by these bold, brash truth-tellers. From cancer to creativity, prom dates to promiscuity, and breaking hearts to breaking laws, the memoirs in this collection reveal that often the youngest writers have the most fascinating stories to tell.

Met online; love before first sight.

Hair's pink to piss you off.

I fulfilled my awkwardness quota today.

I'm seventeen, engaged, and not pregnant.

My mom had my boyfriend deported.

Late for school every single day.

According to Facebook, we broke up.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Following two earlier “six-word memoir” titles, this addition collects supersuccinct memoirs written by teenagers (who are identified by their first names and last initials). Like graffiti scrawls on a bathroom wall, some are funny (“Contemplated joining circus. Foolishly chose college”), others are poignant (“He said bye with YouTube links,”), while many are bluntly honest (“I regret sleeping with my teacher”). Select b&w illustrations are also included. The range of powerful emotions, expressed in just a few words, make this an ideal pick for teens seeking evocative, easily relatable stories. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
VOYA - Deborah L. Dubois
It is amazing how much one can fit into six words. This book by SMITH Magazine, the creator of Not Quite What I Was Planning (HarperCollins, 2008), offers teens the chance to tell their life stories in six words. Some are funny—"Can't chew gum without blowing bubbles." Many are sad—"College feels lonely, even with friends." Others are disturbing—"You made me stronger. Thanks, rapist." All are intriguing. Each one makes the reader think about the story behind the story. Nearly 800 teens shared their six-word memoirs for other teens to read. Other examples are, "Skinny girl in a fat body"; "I am almost always missing something"; "My true colors are very bright!"; "My weird elbows make me special"; and "But my life's only just begun." Every teen will find something to which they can relate in this book. It is a great book to pick up and sample but not for reading cover to cover. The stories are not organized in any way, but an index points to specific subjects. The editors invite teens to submit their six-word memoirs at http://www.smithteens.com/sixwords. Teachers will find this collection an inspiration for student writing assignments or class discussions of current issues facing teens. Reviewer: Deborah L. Dubois
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Almost 800 authors, ranging in age from 13 to 19, contributed to this thought-provoking collection of individual memoirs. Based on the interest resulting from the publication of Not Quite What I Was Planning (HarperCollins, 2008), the editors of SMITH Magazine decided to challenge teens to write the story of their lives in a few brief words. The result is a compelling compendium that will provoke laughter—"Mom just revoked my creative license"; sadness—"Grandma is dying while I'm out shopping"; and empathy and thought—"In the nest, twigs are sharp." Less than a dozen of the selections, most of which are not as good as those by "obscure" authors, are written by famous teens. The short length, relevant topics, and authentic emotions will ensure that this book will appeal to a wide variety of teens, including reluctant readers. English teachers, theater teachers, and student book-club sponsors will revel in the instructional possibilities that could spring from this anthology. It may require some initial hand selling, but ultimately this book will find broad appeal in most collections.—Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD
Kirkus Reviews
SMITH, an "online magazine obsessed with personal storytelling," invited almost 800 teens, famous and not, to take a page from Hemingway and submit their own six-word memoirs. These memoirs, printed on the page asymmetrically, are mostly from girls and reveal a wide range of experiences and emotions. Some are funny ("Aspiration: Colonize Mars. You're not invited"), others are poignant ("Laughed at abuser's funeral. Felt guilty") and some are provocative ("I live bigger than your labels"). All leave readers wondering about the circumstances in the writers' lives that led them to write those six (in places, seven) particular words and what it says about the lives they plan to lead in the future. PostSecret readers will love this book, which is one to pass around and (unfortunately for libraries) mark up. Some drawings accompany the memoirs. A novelty, yes, but one worth having in the era of Twitter. (Nonfiction. YA)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061948695
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
783,972
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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