Trading Secrets

Trading Secrets

by Melody Carlson


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Back in fifth grade, Micah Knight got an Amish pen pal, and over the years, they've exchanged many letters--and many secrets. At age seventeen, Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. The only problem is that because of confusion about her name when the pen pals were assigned, her pen pal was a boy, Zack Miller. And all this time, Micah's never told Zack that she's actually a girl! While she wants nothing more than to experience life on Zack's Amish farm, she's afraid he'll hate her for deceiving him all these years. But she makes up her mind to face the music--and that's where the fun really begins.

Bestselling author Melody Carlson brings young adults another fascinating tale of worlds colliding, secrets being revealed, and friendships forming. Teens will love this story of miscommunication and mishaps along the way to the truth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800722272
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/21/2014
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books, including the Dating Games series, the Life at Kingston High series, Double Take, A Simple Song, and My Amish Boyfriend. She has received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon. Learn more at

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Trading Secrets: A Novel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
Trading Secrets is another great book from Melody Carlson. It tells the story of pen-pals for 6 years who are finally meeting. The only problem being is that Amish Zack does not realize his English Micah is female. It leads to many comic and serious situations that test their friendship. I continue to look forward to reading more books from this author. I received the book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
DaliCastillo More than 1 year ago
What's In a Name? What's in a name is a quote from Shakespear's Rome and Juliet. But it also is a very appropriate question that applies to Melody Carlson's Trading Secrets. The name is Micah. Obviously a boy's name, right? Wrong. And thus begins Trading Secrets. The name mixup is about to come full circle when Micah Knight has the opportunity to meet Zach Miller, the Amish boy that she's been pen pals with for the last five years. The only problem is that Zach believes his pen pal is a boy. So, when Micah has the opportunity to meet her pen pal face-to-face, and spend a few days helping out on his family's farm, her secret is finally out. This causes some interesting events to occur, most of which will have you smiling or laughing. And once you think you've got the story figured out, the author throws in a curve ball that has you asking, "Is Micah the only one that has a secret?" Melody Carlson is a new author for me, but I can definitely say that after having read Trading Secrets, it won't be the last of her books that I read. *****I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and viewpoints are my own.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this young adult novel. There is a nice mixture of Amish and "English" culture discussed in the book and the straightforward, first-person perspective that is used helped me feel as if I was really in the mind of the teenage girl, Micah. I know that first-person dialogue is a fairly popular way of writing young adult novels. I enjoyed watching Micah try to fit in with Zach's Amish family. It was refreshing to hear about what she liked and disliked. And Micah was not treated the same way by everyone in the family. Some were unhappy to have her visit, and others were very welcoming. It felt authentic to me. I think that Micah presents a good role model for girls reading this story. She became frustrated at the way she was being treated by some of the Amish community, however, she controlled her temper and did not say anything unkind or sarcastic toward those who gave her grief. The storyline is interesting and the author does a good job of portraying Micah and Zach as the older teenagers that they are. They don't always make the right decisions, but they are trying to do so and they are attempting to find out where they both belong in the world. This was a very enjoyable story. And on another fourteen year old daughter borrowed this book from me before I even had a chance to read it and she absolutely loved it! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell, through The Book Club Network, in exchange for an honest review.
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
Trading Secrets**** by Melody Carlson Micah Knight has been pen pals with Zach Miller, who is Amish, for 6 years. During that time they have become close friends, sharing their day to day lives and often their dreams. One thing Micah has not shared with Zach however is that she is a girl not a boy as her name suggests. She had always planned to tell him but as the years passed it became more difficult to find the courage to tell him. Now, she is going to actually meet Zach at his home and even help out on the farm. But what will Zach's response be when he sees her and learns that “he” is really a “she”? What will his family say? Zach and his family are shocked, to put it mildly and angry as well. Will they forgive her for her unplanned deception once she explains what happened? Can Zach and Micah's friendship survive? As the story unfolds, Micah learns a secret dream that Zach has not shared with anyone. Can she help him with his dream or will it go unfulfilled? This is a fun young adult story that adults will enjoy as well. Friendships are important as are honesty, there are consequences of our actions (good or bad) and forgiveness which is clearly shown in the characters lives. ~~I received a copy of this book from TBCN and Revell for my honest review~~
Robbi44 More than 1 year ago
This teen novel is the story of an Amish teen boy and an English teen girl who became pen pals in the sixth grade. The biggest secret is that the boy, Zach, is totally unaware that his pen pal is really a girl whose name is Micah. Since that name can be used for either gender, and because there have never been any pictures exchanged between the two of them, Zach has always assumed he chose a boy and has shared his deepest thoughts for over six years. Micah, on the other hand, knew from the beginning that she was tricking Zach, but valued his friendship and so was afraid to tell him the truth. The story begins when Zach and Micah are eighteen years old. It is spring break for Micah and she, a city girl from Cleveland, has been invited to visit Zach’s home, a working Amish farm. She arrives dressed as a boy wearing a baseball cap to cover her hair. All is well until her cap flies off and her true identity is made known. Zach and his family are furious as well as embarrassed while feeling betrayed. Through a series of mishaps and unwanted circumstances, Micah finds herself having to stay at Zach’s home for five days. These days prove to bring both positive and negative results with lasting consequences. Melody Carlson has written this story to show that even teenagers have to make difficult decisions which can change the course of their lives. Throughout the book, she weaves the importance of letting God direct one’s choices. This story is very appropriate to provide teens with good and profitable pleasure reading. I recommend it for ages fifteen and older. I received this free book from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
sh2rose More than 1 year ago
What a hope giving book! The characters were down to earth and easy to like. When you start writing to a pen pal you never know what will happen. Will they write in return, ignore your letters, or become more than a pen pal? Micah has not shared the complete truth with her Amish pen pal Zack but soon discovers that it is a painful mistake. Her world and the Amish world meet in a challenging and uncomfortable way. She learns much about life through this experience and becomes a more honest person. Zack has secrets of his own. As Micah and Zack travel through to finding the truth for both of them they mature and  land with life changing realities. I enjoyed this quick read and recommend it. I felt it would be great for the young adult reading community.  I received this book from NetGalley and have given an honest review.
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read by Melody Carlson.  I really enjoyed it.  Carlson is great at showing the contrasts between the English lifestyle and the Amish lifestyle.  Often mentioning things I would have never thought about.  It was also interesting to read a story about a teenage girls point of view.  I enjoyed reading about relationships through a teenager’s perspective.  And it made me think more about what it would feel like to be Amish and yearn for something more.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Fiction.   Micah Knight has been writing to an Amish pen pal for years.  When Zach Miller started writing Micah he assumed that she was a boy.  The name Micah isn’t known as a girls name, and Micah isn’t your average girl.  When Zach shares his secrets with her, Micah feels it’s too late to correct him.  Micah would love nothing more than to finally see Zach face-to-face.  Amish don’t take pictures, and a boy would never ask another boy what he looks like.  When a chance arises for Micah to visit his farm she can’t turn it down.  How will Zach react when he finds out she is not a boy?  Will Micah lose one of her best friends?  I would love to read another book with these characters in it! I received a copy of this book from Revell and TBCN in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions expressed are my own.  
Cindi_A More than 1 year ago
Such a fun and enjoyable story that is a bit different from the typical Amish novel. Having an Amish pen pal for six years is not very common considering they started writing each other when they were in fifth grade. What is especially surprising is that Zach thinks his pen pal is a boy. This all comes to a head when Micah decides that she wants to meet Zach in person. Not only does Micah get a lesson in honesty but she also learns first hand what it's like to do farm work on an Amish farm. The author weaves a tale that will make you realize how important friendship is and that forgiveness is not always easy, but necessary. This is a great story for teens and adults alike.
Wilani More than 1 year ago
I loved this book.  It reveals what it is like for Amish teens.  I loved the spiritual threads running through this book.  It is always good to tell the truth.  This was not just a typical Amish book..  I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.
RandomAmb More than 1 year ago
Trading Secrets is a fun story that shows life in two different worlds--English and Amish. Micah and Zach have been pen pals for years, but there's a catch. Zach thinks Micah is a boy! When she goes to visit his family's farm for Spring Break, things get interesting. I really enjoyed this story by Melody Carlson. Once again, she nails the teen perspective. Without giving away any spoilers, I'll just say I appreciated the twist in the book. It gives the story another dimension. This is the first of Carlson's Amish crossover novels I've read, but I look forward to reading the others. Trading Secrets is for fans of YA Inspirational Fiction. It will make a great Christmas gift for teen girls who love to read! (I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Some secrets need to be shared... Trading Secrets   By Melody Carlson   Micah Knight has been keeping a secret for six years.  And the time for the truth has now come.  Her Amish pen-pal thinks she is a boy.  But it wasn't her fault that Zach Miller came to that conclusion. She just never cleared up his misunderstanding.   But when an opportunity to meet face-to-face presents itself Micah has to make a decision.  But does she admit the truth to the person who could very well be her best friend?  Or does she hide the truth yet again and avoid revealing her secret? Micah's decision could make for one interesting spring break! This is a book that is sweet and profound.  During life we have choices to make and those choices have an impact on not only our own future but on the futures of those around us.   So many books geared for teens are angst-filled gloom and doom tales of woe.  Trading Secrets won't leave you feeling depressed when you put it down.  This is a meeting of two worlds that create a deeper understanding and appreciation of what we have.  The majority of this book takes place over one week and it is a week which Micah won't soon forget. If you've read Melody's previous English-meets-Amish books for teens (A Simple Song, My Amish Boyfriend, or Double Take) you know what to expect.  But if you haven't don't worry because these books can stand alone.  You'll take a glimpse into the Amish lifestyle from the view of someone who, like you, is not Amish.   I was provided a copy of this book by Revell through their blogger program in exchange for my honest review.
JCMorrows More than 1 year ago
We need more books like this! Teens today need better role models – role models like the ones in Melody Carlson’s books! No, they’re not perfect… but who is! At least there is a strong moral to Melody’s story. One of which is that it’s never a good idea to tell a lie. Having an Amish pen pal has really gained  popularity in recent years  and it’s really exciting to read about such a unique experience. Ironically, I recently had a similar experience myself – several people made the comment that they thought “JC” was a man… which is why I’ve now posted my picture – to be certain everyone knows I am not, in fact, a man. And don’t you want to know what happens with Micah and her pen pal when he finds out she is also not a boy…? It’s great fun! Not a story to be missed! And so exciting that I have a wonderful book that I can pass on to my daughter in a few years – I say a few years because she’s only 8 at the moment - although now that I think about it, she could probably handle it now because she’s incredibly mature for her age. And she LOVES to read! Just as I know you will LOVE to read this book! And now I am going to go in search of more books by Melody Carlson! I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This was a good young adult book.  It had a good story.  I really like Micah and  Zach.  It was hard to like Zach's parents.  They seemed to be more like what you always imagine Amish  parents to be like.  Look forward to many more  books by Melody Carlson.  I received this from Revell reads for a fair and honest opinion.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Melody Carlson in her new book, “Trading Secrets” published by Revell brings us into the life of Micah Knight. From the back cover: The truth may set you free–but it might also land you in some uncomfortably hot water. Over the years, Micah Knight has exchanged many letters–and many secrets–with her longtime Amish pen pal, Zach. But Micah’s kept quiet on the biggest secret of all–the fact that despite her name, she’s a girl. Now Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. She wants nothing more than to experience life on Zach’s Amish farm, but she’s more than a little anxious. Will he be angry at her for deceiving him all these years? And will she risk losing his friendship to find something more? I suppose the worst thing you can do to a relationship, any relationship, is to keep secrets. And when the secret you are keeping is your gender then this is deceit stretched to the max. Micah is a girl with a boy’s name who really wants to meet her pen pal Zach but he doesn’t know she is a girl and she is, after so many years, afraid to tell him. So that is when the deceit really spins out of control when she has to masquerade as a boy to the extreme of changing her voice.  “Trading Secrets” is a story of love and truthfulness in a relationship. Melody Carlson knows how to write and she has delivered a wonderful story about learning who we are and what we are about.  There are great characters within these pages that we can like a lot with plenty of human relationships that we can identify with. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
beckanie More than 1 year ago
Trading Secrets by Melody Carlson The first book that I read for review is titled Trading Secrets by Melody Carlson. It is a book for the teenage audience. I found the book to be delightful, interesting and easy to read. The story centers around two young people in vastly different lifestyles. Michah, a young believer who lives as an "englischer", and Zach an Amish young man. Michah and Zach have been pen pals for over five years and as they approach the end of their teenage years they decide that they would like to meet in person. Sweet enough. Interesting enough.  The plot twister; Michah is a girl! All along Zach believes Michah to be his dear friend from the english world. He related to Michah as one guy to another guy. Upon meeting, both characters encounter strain and stress in their relationship due to the deception that Michah has allowed to go unchecked. Melody does a great job of giving words to the inner workings and thoughts of two very different young people. She keeps the reader interested and engaged throughout the entire story. I liked how the characters friendship was the main focus of the book. I appreciated that romantic interest was not highlighted throughout the story. It's a refreshing change from constant bombardment of expected romantic involvement in stories. I recommend this book to those both in the teenage audience and those older. It was a delightful read. 
Moonpie72 More than 1 year ago
This book was soooo good!  The characters were witty, clever, and humorous.  I couldn’t put it down and read it in 2 days!   This was accomplished by staying up till 3:00 a.m. two nights in a row!!!  I know many have posted it as a young adult read but I think that is too limiting.  Adults young or old would enjoy it. When she was in the 5th grade, Micah agreed to be a part of a class project and write to an Amish pen pal.  The one assigned to her was named Zach.  The teacher sent the children’s pictures but due to the Amish beliefs, they were not delivered.  With her name, Zach thinks Micah is a boy.  She doesn’t want to have their correspondence to end so she doesn’t reveal this secret.   As many years pass and many letters, Zach and Micah become very close.  They reveal their deepest thoughts and desires.  When her mother dies, Zach is the one that gives her the support she needs.  Fast forward 6 years and many letters.  Zach writes Micah telling her is coming to visit.  She panics!  To her relief he cancels his visit but she is disappointed because she really wants to meet him.  She devises a hair brain scheme to go see him and pretend she is a boy!   She pulls it off for a very short time, but  overcome by guilt, she ends up doing a dramatic reveal at the family dinner table.  The entire family is horrified and Zach is embarrassed and angry. Plans to go home keep falling through and she must stay with the family she has deceived for much longer than she would like!  A very awkward situation to say the least!  Micah finds that Zach has a few surprises of his own!   Micah not only learns firsthand about the Amish lifestyle but a great deal about herself too.  She also has to face the music concerning the damage her deception caused to the lives of others.  I found it very interesting to look at Zach’s culture thorough her eyes as a teenager.  There wasn’t a dull moment in this story.  It was fun, interesting, and very entertaining.  I found the plot to be very different than other Amish fictions.  It showed the contrast in the English vs. Amish cultures I would not have thought of, and she does it through the perspective of the characters. Melody Carlson is a master writer!  You will want to read this book! Be ready for surprises! I received this book free from Revell Publishers, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
The picture on the front of this book drew me in, and the concept also intrigued me. When the story unfolds we have a young girl/woman going to visit her Amish pen pal, which she has been corresponding with for a number of years. Her name is Micah, and you can guess what Zack Miller thinks, yes, and she never corrected him during the several years of letters going back and forth. I can just picture her as she arrives at the farm dressed as a boy. When I think of the strict Amish culture, it does bring a chuckle to think of this girl and her using a fake voice while addressing them. I can just picture their reaction when they find out the boy is actually a girl. You will wonder if the friendship/bond that has developed over the years between these you people, will be able to survive the deceit. Also can a girl get away working as a boy, and for how long? Then we have a strict Amish mother, who decides it is time for her son to find an Amish wife, to what extreme will she go to? Just wait until you are busy eating a meal in this house! Think as you go along in the story your going to find out just who was in for a culture shock. Between the parents and the teens, all are in for a real change. I loved this book, and look forward to more by this author! I received this book through Revell Publishing Book Reviewers Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.
GlendaTracy More than 1 year ago
The author did a wonderful job in writing a story that is hard to put down, and one you're sorry to have it end. I recommend this book and look forward to reading others.
tmurrell2 More than 1 year ago
Micah began writing to Zach when she was in the fifth grade. Because of her name, he assumed she was a boy, and she never corrected him. Now Micah is a senior and the opportunity for them to meet is here. She has to come clean, but she's afraid that it will ruin her friendship. And Zach has become her best friend, the one she shares all of her secrets with. Somehow I missed that this was a young adult. I've read books by Carlson before and remembered enjoying them. This book was sweet and I think will really appeal to a younger generation. It was a quick read with very little drama. The relationship between Zach and is parents was not one that I've seen in the Amish books I've read in the past. It was definitely a different spin on Amish fiction. The book wrapped up neatly, but without a resolution between the friendship of Micah and Zach. Not sure if the author is leaving this open for a sequel or if this is typical of YA. It was a nice book, but did not prompt me to read her other YA books. I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.
itsraymarie More than 1 year ago
I don't read Amish books as a rule of thumb. I don't understand this Christian fiction trend of being obsessed with the Amish, and I don't partake in it. But when I saw this blurb, I was intrigued. I had to know how it played out, and I've read quite a few Melody Carlson books, enough to know that I liked her writing, and decided to give this one a chance.  This one was interesting, to say the least. If you know anything about the Amish, then you should know enough to know that boys and girls mixing is no bueno. Which is why Micah hid the fact that she was a girl once she was old enough to understand their culture. But now that she has the chance to meet him face-to-face, she doesn't know what to do. This was a fun story. I had a point, that I said if Micah didn't tell them she was a boy, then I was going to stop reading. But she does tell them, and I kept reading. And it was interesting. I did enjoy the culture, and the differences between Amish and the English. But we also got to see both sides, from Micah going there and liking it, to Zack wanting to leave the farm and go out into the world. Both sides were represented, and there wasn't a bias of which one was better. Micah enjoyed her time at the farm, even with Zack's mother hating her, and I felt both Micah and Zack learned a lot from the experience. Zack's siblings were adorable as well. This was a fun and entertaining story, and I am definitely happy with the way everything worked out.
inspiremichelle More than 1 year ago
Trading Secrets by Melody Carlson, Revell Teen Fiction, Amish, Romance ISBN 9780800722272 Micah Knight and Zach have been pen pals every since her 5th grade teacher gave an writing assignment 6 years ago. They have become great friends and have helped each other through some difficult times. Now Zach is on his rum spring and would like to visit Micah. His father will not allow it because of planting, so Micah volunteers to go and help. The only problem is Zach and everyone else think she is a boy. She shows up on the farm dressed as a boy but soon confesses she is not. Quote: “Zach is absolutely certain that I’m a boy, Lizzie! For more than six years he has completely believed my little myth. This whole time he’s been writing me--- conversing with me like I’m his best friend --- like I’m a boy.” I really enjoyed watching feelings develop between these two but also enjoyed the way Zach dealt with his struggle about leaving or staying Amish. The author Melody Carlson did a great job of brining the characters to life. I enjoyed the comparison of the English lifestyle to the Amish lifestyle. The storyline was portrayed in a believable way a normal teen would question life and faith. The struggle to do right or wrong was well played out. I enjoyed this teen fiction and had no problem reading it as an adult. I highly recommend this 5 star book to teen and adults. This is a book, I can be proud to pass to a teen in my life knowing that it is a great clean read. I hope to the author continues their story. I would love to hear the rest of the story. I want to give a high-five to the author Melody Carlson and publisher Revell for bringing compelling Christian books that are entertaining and give hope to the reader with stories of faith for both teens and adults. I was provided me with this book in exchange for my honest review and I am so grateful for the authors and publishers generosity.
RGNHALL More than 1 year ago
This is a work of Young Adult Amish fiction, but I would recommend it to adults as well. This was a fun, light read. Micah and Zack have been penpals for six years and because of her name, Zack assumes she is a he. He even chose her for that reason. She has the chance to visit his family farm during her spring break and she goes dressed as a boy and does not reveal her secret until the family dinner that evening. I will not spoil the book for readers by revealing what happens when she tells them that she is actually a girl. Zack loves education and reading and spends a great deal of time reading science and history books. I hope that there is a sequel to the book as I am curious to know what happens later with Zack and Micah. I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to teens and adults alike. I received a pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.